A certain species of Crayfish has been named in honor of the controversial whistleblower Edward Snowden. Looks like Snowden has some huge fans in the German science community.
Cherax crayfish has always been confused with other species of crayfish by its collectors. Due to its colourful appearance, this species is used for ornamental purposes and is exported to countries all over the world. This Indonesian Crayfish was first captured at the coasts of the Island of New Guinea by a motley crayfish dealer. It somehow managed to land in the hands of some scientists who eventually recognized and proved it as a different species. Though this species was being sold off for decades by various fish dealers all across the world under a different name, it was its distinguished body shape and colouration that gave it away. Scientists used the technique of sequence divergence to confirm it as a separate species.
“Sequence divergence is a method by which one can distinguish two separate genomes.”
This crayfish is only found in the West Papua, New Guinea area and has been named after Edward Snowden, the controversial CIA employee and NSA’s whistleblower. While regarded as a traitor by the USA , he is condemned as a freedom fighter by many including the research team, who eventually decided to name it after Snowden.
Edward Joseph Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is an American computer professional, former CIA employee and a former government contractor who leaked classified information from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013. The information revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments. He is currently in three year asylum granted by the Russian government. As of 2015 he is still living in an undisclosed location in Russia while seeking asylum elsewhere. He was denied pardon a few weeks ago!