A newly discovered species of spider has been formally named Eriovixia Gryffindori due to its 'uncanny' resemblance to the sorting hat from the Harry Potter films.
Indian scientists came across the minuscule arachnid while conducting a biological survey of the Western Ghats, a lush and forested mountain region located along the coast of southwestern India. The 990-mile (1,600km) long range of rolling hills is one of the world's “hottest biodiversity hotspots” and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
At just a quarter-inch (7mm) in length, the spider still managed to catch the eyes of researchers. "My colleagues and I are geeks and we all thought, 'Hey this curious little spider looks exactly like the sorting hat.' It was uncannily similar," stated scientist Javed Ahmed.
The researchers were sure the spider represented a previously unknown species and named it Eriovixia Gryffindori after Godric Gryffindor's sorting hat that placed Hogwarts' students into their houses.
Once confirmed after peer review of the researchers' report, the name became official and the new spider was announced to the world via the December 2016 issue of the Indian Journal of Arachnology, where it made the front cover..
Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling evidently approves of the curious new critter, tweeting to Ahmed “I'm truly honoured! Congratulations on discovering another #FantasticBeast!” Should Ahmed and his fellow scientists subsequently uncover a new species of snake, no doubt they'll be naming it after Slytherin. (via PhysOrg, sorting hat image via HarshLight)