Indiana Jones might be afraid of snakes, but that’s not stopping scientists from naming a new species of the reptile after the actor behind the whip and fedora. The Tachymenoides harrisonfordi–also referred to as Harrison Ford’s slender snake–has recently been discovered in a remote region of Peru.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (and via Salamandra), scientists honored Ford not only because of his role as Indiana Jones, but also because of his conservation history. The actor serves as a vice chair with Conservation International, for example. The organization says it’s protected over 2.3 million square miles of the planet since being founded in 1987.
The snake is apparently about 16 inches long, with yellowish-brown scales plus black spots. Meanwhile, the serpent’s belly is mainly black.
For those unfamiliar, Jones reveals his distaste for snakes in Raiders of the Lost Ark. One of the most famous lines from the franchise is: “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” Creepy critters are a running gag in the Indiana Jones series, with rats showing up in The Last Crusade and ants appearing in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. In fact, Ford has had an ant and spider named after him in the past.
“These scientists keep naming critters after me, but it’s always the ones that terrify children,” Ford said. “I don’t understand. I spend my free time cross-stitching. I sing lullabies to my basil plants, so they won’t fear the night. In all seriousness, this discovery is humbling. It’s a reminder that there’s still so much to learn about our wild world–and that humans are one small part of an impossibly vast biosphere.”
Ford reprised his role as the legendary archaeologist earlier this summer in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which received mixed reviews from critics. The film has also underperformed at the box office, struggling to make a profit after a $60 million debut.
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