One of actor Harrison Ford's most memorable and popular roles was Indiana Jones from the series of the same name, and one of his most famous lines must be, "Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?"
That line will inevitably find a new surge in popularity now that the actor has a newly discovered snake named after him.
Right on the tail of the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, researchers stationed in Peru's Andes mountain region have discovered a new variety of salamander snake, which they have named "Tachymenoides harrisonfordi" to honor Ford's long history of conservation efforts and ecological advocacy.
The snake is described as yellowish-brown with scattered black blotches, a black belly, and a vertical streak above its copper eyes, which helps to camouflage it from predators.
Researchers collaborating between Peru and the United States discovered one male back in May 2022, sunbathing in Otishi National Park, which they've since confirmed in the latest issue of the scientific journal Salamandra.
Ford at first had a humorous reaction to the news:
"These scientists keep naming critters after me, but it’s always the ones that terrify children."
"I don’t understand. I spend my free time cross-stitching. I sing lullabies to my basil plants, so they won’t fear the night."
But true to his advocacy roots, Ford also had something to say about the importance of conservation:
"In all seriousness, this discovery is humbling. It’s a reminder that there’s still so much to learn about our wild world, and that humans are one small part of an impossibly vast biosphere."
"On this planet, all fates are intertwined, and right now, one million species are teetering on the edge of oblivion."
"We have an existential mandate to mend our broken relationship with nature and protect the places that sustain life.”
Twitter was thoroughly entertained by Ford's surprise at having a snake named after him.
It's important for celebrities of Harrison Ford's caliber, as well as other powerful and influential people, to speak up about issues like this.
It's also worth noting that in 2022, Conservation International confirmed that one-fifth of the world's species of reptiles are on the brink of extinction because of how they are treated in the wild and the lack of advocacy surrounding them. People are quick to defend beautiful wild cats and adorable panda bears, but when it comes to the smaller, scalier creatures, people forget that they need advocates, too.