/Harrison Ford Reacts To Having A Snake Species Named After Him

Harrison Ford Reacts To Having A Snake Species Named After Him

Indiana Jones had a well-known phobia of snakes ― but the actor who played him in five big-screen films is a bit more affable when it comes to reptiles.

On Tuesday, a team of four Peruvian and American researchers announced they’d discovered a new species of slender snake in Peru’s Andes Mountains. The yellow, brown and black snake was reportedly found sunbathing in a swamp and measured about 16 inches long.

One of the researchers, Edgar Lehr, told The Washington Post Thursday that he had yet to decide on a name for the new species upon its discovery in May of last year ― that is until he saw a trailer for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” which hit theaters in June.

So Lehr and his teammates named the snake Tachymenoides harrisonfordi in honor of the film’s star, Harrison Ford.

“Harrison Ford is, for me, the only name that would work,” Lehr, a biology professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, said, noting that his experiences in Peru “felt like being in an action movie.”

Harrison Ford at the London premiere of "Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny" in June.
Harrison Ford at the London premiere of “Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny” in June.

David M. Benett via Getty Images

Interestingly, Ford already has ant and spider species named after him, but a snake feels most appropriate given his acclaimed performances in the “Indiana Jones” films.

The Oscar nominee ― also the vice chair of Conservation International, a Virginia-based environmental advocacy group ― seemed flattered by his latest namesake.

“These scientists keep naming critters after me, but it’s always the ones that terrify children. I don’t understand. I spend my free time cross-stitching,” he quipped to The Hollywood Reporter. “I sing lullabies to my basil plants, so they won’t fear the night.”

He went on to note: “In all seriousness, this discovery is humbling.”

As for Lehr, he said he celebrated his discovery by screening ― what else? ― “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” He told The Washington Post that naming a species after a celebrity was a great way to create “public awareness” around wildlife conservation efforts.

He said, “I want people to know that there are still new species that have to be discovered.”

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