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New Species of Acorn Worm Named After Yoda

Posted by JenThorpe at 9:52 PM on October 6, 2012

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away….” is the familiar opening to the Star Wars movies. Somewhere in there, you will find a short, green, wise, Jedi master named Yoda. In a “galaxy” much closer to home, (far, far, under the ocean), scientists have found a new species of deep-sea acorn worms. One has been named after Yoda.

Yoda purpurata is one of three new species of acorn worms that were found by researchers during the ECOMAR research program. They used a remotely operated submersible to look for new animals that were living along the seafloor somewhere along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores.

The name Yoda purpurata translates to “purple Yoda”. This may sound strange, since we all know that Yoda is green, not purple. His light saber wasn’t purple either (that one belonged to Mace Windu). The new acorn worm, however, is a reddish-purple color. It has large lips that extend out from either side of its head, in a similar way to how Yoda’s ears extend out from his head. You can see some awesome pictures of Yoda purpurata (and several other acorn worms that have been found), here.

Find it, they did. Name it, they must. Inspired by a Jedi master, they were!

Image: From the Bottom of the Ocean by BigStock