Taylor Swift has a bug named after her thanks to a superfan scientist!
Spencer, Tennessee - Thanks to a scientist studying insects, Taylor Swift now has more than just superstardom and 11 Grammys – she's also got a millipede with "special legs" named after her.
Derek Hennen (32), an entomologist, discovered a millipede species in Appalachia and named it after his favorite artist: Taylor Swift!
On Twitter, the entomologist wrote that he wanted to show his appreciation for the star by naming a new species after her. He called it "a high honor."
Hennen told NPR that Taylor Swift's music got him through some "rough times" and grad school, which led him to become a hardcore Swiftie. His favorite songs include New Romantics and betty.
The researcher has a some of Swift's CDs in his car that he cycles through while driving. And Hennen drives a lot.
For the paper he co-authored with Jackson Means and Paul Marek, which came out Friday in the ZooKeys Journal, he drove through 17 states.
Their paper introduced 17 new species of Twisted-Claw Millipedes from Appalachia. But according to Hennen, the one named after the pop star proved itself a unique species because of its "special legs" and genetics. Its official name is Nannaria swiftae, or the Swift Twisted-Claw Millipede.
Swift of course famously got her start in Tennessee, which is where Hennen and his team found the insect, at Fall Creek Falls State Park.
On Twitter, Hennen wrote that figuring out names for the new species was fun. His choices weren't only inspired by his musical love story. He also named one after his wife, Marian.
"Nannaria marianae! A small thank-you for all her patience when we're taking a nature hike and I stop to look for millipedes," he said.
Maybe this high honor from an entomologist might inspire Taylor Swift to write a new song inspired by a bug.
Cover photo: Collage: 123rf/ shakeelsafeek & screenshot/Instagram/Taylor Swift