A popular TV character apparently has friends in the halls of academia along with his fan base among the school-age set, as a newly discovered species of mushroom has been named after SpongeBob SquarePants, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Dennis E. Desjardin, a mycologist at San Francisco State University, helped name the bright orange, sponge-like mushroom, which was found in the rain forest of Borneo. The name? Spongiforma squarepantsii.
"We need a little frivolity in this stodgy old science we love," Desjardin said.
At first the name was rejected by the editors of the journal Mycologia, who said it was "too frivolous," the story says, citing Desjardin. "But we insisted that although the science might be their business, we could name it whatever we liked — and they gave in," Desjardin said.