Harry Potter meets science: scientists name crab after Harry Potter character

Photo credit: CNBC

Photo credit: CNBC

By Aphra Murray, Staff Writer

In the depths of the waters of Guam, scientists had discovered a translucent crab, where it has remained relatively unknown for the past sixteen years.

In early 2001, an up and coming researcher named Harry Conley was scuba diving when he found this pale crab burrowed deep in reef rocks. It was on this trip that he brought two of these tiny specimens, both roughly a few millimeters across, back to a marine biologist at the University of Singapore.

Now Dr. Peter Ng and his fellow researcher Jose Mendoza have come up with a creative name for the crab Harryplax severus. Long time Harry Potter fans will immediately recognize the name after the eponymous Harry Potter and questionable Professor Severus Snape of the magical Hogwarts world.

The name was inspired for both J.K Rowling’s characters and researcher Harry Conley, the original researcher on the crabs, who unfortunately passed away late in 2002. Conley had been well known across his career for finding the most unlikely of organisms at the depth of oceans.

These crabs, which belong to a family of crabs first found off of Christmas Island, are known to live in dark and dim conditions. These seem perfect for a crab named after Professor Snape, potions master who might have found himself at home in the dungeons these crabs now inhabit.

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Author: Aphra Murray

Aphra Murray '18 is an international student and a Chemistry major here at Gettysburg. For the past year and a half, she has been consistently writing for the Gettysburgian and this year will be taking over as editor of the MS&T section. While not writing, Aphra can be found working on her research in the Science Centre.

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