The Big Bang Theory physicist Sheldon Cooper has made further inroads into the world of science – but, in this case, it’s the field of biology which has recognised his intellect. The nerdy TV character’s iconic catch phrase – “Bazinga!” (used to announce he’s pulled a trick on someone) – has inspired the name of a new species of bee, discovered by Brazilian biologist Andre Nemesio at the Universidade Federal de Uberlandia.
Previously mistaken for the Euglossa ignita species, and thus characterised by its ability to trick scientists, the “Euglossa bazinga” was named in a nod to Sheldon’s famous utterance.
Nemesio explained he had named the Brazilian orchid bee in honour of, “the clever, funny ‘nerd’ character Sheldon Cooper.” His paper was published last month in Zootaxa – a journal for worldwide zoological taxonomists.
In response to the recognition, one of The Big Bang Theory’s executive producers, Steven Molaro, said the show is “always extremely flattered when the science community embraces our show.
“Sheldon would be honoured to know that Euglossa bazinga was inspired by him. In fact, after ‘Mothra’ and griffins, bees are his third-favourite flying creatures.”
But Sheldon – played by Emmy Award-winning actor Jim Parsons – is not the first famous face to inspire scientists. Veteran TV naturalist David Attenborough has had several species named after him, including the “Prethopalpus attenboroughi” – a spider species christened last year to honour his long television career.
Hollywood actress Kate Winslet has a beetle – “Agra katewinsletae” – named after her, as does Adolf Hitler (the “Anophthalmus hitleri”). You may also come across Beyoncé’s horsefly, the “Scaptia beyonceae”, John Cleese’s lemur (“Avahi cleesei”) and, hilariously, Hugh Hefner’s rabbit – the “Sylvilagus palustris hefneri”.
Anyway… in celebration of his latest honour, here’s every recorded use of Sheldon’s “bazinga” catchphrase from series 1-4. Enjoy.