Next week, Christie’s will host the Blue Auction, where it will sell the naming rights to newly discovered marine species in Indonesia. The proceeds, which should exceed several million dollars, will go to fund conservation of the species. You can see a cool slideshow of the fish to be auctioned here.
The commercialization of taxonomy has bothered some scientists, but really, could the purchased names be any worse than the ones Ben has posted already? Or, say, the Vampyroteuthis infernalis, translated as the vampire squid from hell, or, my personal favorite, a slime-mold beetle known as Agathidium cheneyi.