There’s a new species of shrimp, named after Pink Floyd, that kills its prey by making a very loud noise. Synalpheus pinkfloydi simply snaps its enormous pink claw, and that snap reaches up to 210 decibels—loud enough to kill small fish nearby. For comparison, a lawnmower is about 90 decibels, and a loud rock concert is about 120.
As it turns out, the naming of the shrimp had nothing to do with the long-standing rumor that Pink Floyd once played so loudly, they killed all the fish in a nearby pond. Dr. Sammy DeGrave, head of research at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, told NPR that the name had more to do with its pink claw. “The reference is to the line, ‘By the way, which one of you is Pink?’ from the song ‘Have A Cigar.’” said DeGrave. “The story is when Pink Floyd first went to America, people thought one of the band members was actually named Pink. A reporter asked, ‘Which one of you is Pink?” so that’s what stuck in our mind and that’s where [the name] came from.” First of all, that’s hilarious, and second of all, “pinkfloydi” just sounds absolutely adorable for such a powerful shrimp. We’re big fans.
When asked about the fabled story of Pink Floyd’s fish-killing 1971 concert, DeGrave said he’d never heard of it, and that it sounded a bit far-fetched. “Yeah,” he said, “that doesn’t really sound possible.” More likely, the fishes’ untimely deaths were due to the band’s dumping of dry ice into the pond, as well as underwater explosive flares used to inflate a 50-foot inflatable octopus—apparently, it was quite the theatrical show.
Listen below to Paste Cloud audio from 1977 of Pink Floyd performing “Have a Cigar,” the song that inspired DeGrave.