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Yoda lives! As a new deep-sea worm, that is


A new deep-sea worm is named after the Star Wars character Yoda. Here, a Yoda model is on display in London, England.


Tim Whitby

Time for some Star Wars trivia. Who said this?

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm?"

It's Yoda, but it could also be Yoda purpurata, a newly-discovered deep sea worm that scientists did indeed judge by its appearance. 

The creature, found some a mile and a half under the Atlantic, was named after the cutely weird-looking Star Wars character because the worm's huge lips looked like Yoda's ears, reported The Guardian.

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Why didn't the researcher responsible for christening the creature, California-born deep-sea worm authority Nick Holland, just admit to being a Science Fiction guy? Maybe there's more to it than that. If Star Wars were real, Yoda's reincarnation may well have taken the form of this interesting little creature, because scientists say its evolution reveals a lot about the lives of our own early ancestors, said The Guardian

"Whilst they are not strictly a missing link in our own evolution, they give an insight into what the lifestyle of our remote ancestors might have been like," zoologist Professor Imants Priede from the University of Aberdeen told The Guardian.

For all you marine biology enthusiasts out there, the worm is technically an enteropneust (details here), otherwise known as an acorn worm. It's last name, purpurata, is Latin for purple.

Yoda purpurata was one of three deep-sea creatures found by a research mission working in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores, according to SKY News

The Guardian has more: 

"The pint-sized Star Wars character joins a long list of other famous people and characters who have had a new species named after them, including a fish parasite named after Bob Marley; a horse fly named after Beyoncé and a trio of slime-mold beetles named after George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld."

Scientists announced the find in the most recent issue of Invertebrate Biology.