Here's a great one for you: Andre Nemesio, from the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia in Brazil has decided to honor one of his favorite shows with his latest discovery. A previously unrecorded species of orchid bee has officially been named the Euglossa bazinga, after Dr. Sheldon Cooper's popular catchphrase "Bazinga" on 'The Big Bang Theory.'
Dr. Nemesio's method is not entirely mad; the Euglossa bazinga (pictured) resembles Euglossa ignita so closely that for years, scientists were unable to tell them apart. Feeling as though the E. bazinga had been tricking him, Nemesio felt it appropriate to use "Bazinga," an exclamation used by Jim Parsons' character Cooper whenever he manages to trick or put one over on someone. I suppose Euglossa gotcha didn't have the same intercultural resonance.
Far beyond the "Bazinga" t-shirts at Wal-Mart, this latest happenstance of the term is a testament to the popularity of the CBS sitcom amongst the scientific community. The show (and the Sheldon character) is so popular amongst scientific professionals that this isn't even the first time that the character has been honored in a discovery: the asteroid 246247 Sheldoncooper is named for him, as well. “We are always extremely flattered when the science community embraces our show,” said Executive Producer Steven Molaro in a statement.
Orchid bees are known for their beauty, for obvious reasons. The species has been forced to evolve along with the flowering plants of their namesake, forming a symbiotic relationship. Recent work on asynchronous diversification in plant-pollenator mutualism out of Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley has found that orchids would not even exist if it were not for these beautiful insects keeping them in the propagation race.
Further, it seems that the bees themselves are far less reliant on the flowers themselves than we previously believed.
Could it be that the gorgeous Euglossa bazinga simply has an eye for equally beautiful flowers? Feast your eyes on several close-ups of the bazinga here.
'The Big Bang Theory' is presently amidst its sixth season on CBS.