Harrison Ford is humbled by a snake named after him

Harrison Ford Wonders Why Scientists Name These Terrifying Critters After Him!

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By Rima Pundir on August 19, 2023 at 9:00 PM EDT

A new critter in town, at least in Peru, named after Harrison Ford. This time, it's a snake, which is a tad strange given the ophidiophobic nature of one of his most famous characters, Indiana Jones. Be that as it may, Ford, ever the gentleman, says, "In all seriousness, this discovery is humbling."

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Harrison Ford Already Has Two Critters Sharing His Name

Harrison Ford has a new snake named after him

The 81-year-old actor and environmentalist is best known to most for his roles as Han Solo in the "Star Wars" franchise and the adventurous albeit aging protagonist in the "Indiana Jones" movies. Incidentally, Indiana Jones is not a snake fan at all.

That said, Ford has long been an advocate for environmentalism and serves as vice chair of Conservation International, with Idris Elba on the board of directors as well.

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He's also no stranger to having creatures named after him, given that he shares his name with that of a Honduran ant, Pheidole Harrisonfordi. Discovered in 2003 by entomologist E.O. Wilson, this ant is a worker and somewhat timid, so we are not quite sure we get the connection. Even earlier. Ford was also honored by a Californian spider, Calponia Harrisonfordi, discovered in 1993 and named after by American arachnologist Norman Platnick.

And now, it's a snake found in Peru, and Ford rightly laments, "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."

Meanwhile, Indiana Jones is more colorful in his dislike for snakes...

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Meet Peruvian Snake, Tachymenoides Harrisonfordi

Harrison Ford's character Indiana Jones is not a fan of snakes.

The discovery of the snake was also no less thrilling than an "Indiana Jones" movie. A team of scientists from Peru and the United States, led by biology professor Edgar Lehr of Illinois Wesleyan University, forayed into Peru's Otishi National Park. It's one of the least explored grasslands on Earth, dab in the middle of Peru's cocaine county, and mostly accessible only by helicopter.

The team stumbled upon the lone male snake sunbathing on a mountaintop pass in the middle of gunmen, drone spies, and other men using the same frequency of their walkie-talkies.

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Again, this snake is no monster. In fact, at only 16 inches in length, this slender slither likes to chew on frogs and lizards and is no threat to humans. Copper and black, with deep, big eyes, the snake was named after Ford because of his decades-long environmental advocacy. Ford was also the voice of "The Ocean" in Conservation International's award-winning "Nature is Speaking" campaign.

Lehr and his team finally had to call it a day on the excursion after 11 days, given that they heard a plane engine nearby, which signified the drug runners might be on their way to chase them out, or worse. Rescue came only after four more tense days of rainstorms, even as Lehr lamented, "There's so much left to discover [there]. I worry that further research here won't be possible now."

After their rescue by the Peruvian Air Force, Lehr looked back at it all and still found it completely worth it, saying, "Discovering new species, including Harrison Ford's snake, is always worth it."

Here's the cute critter!

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Harrison Ford Calls The Discovery Humbling

Harrison Ford feels the discovery of a new snake, named after him, is humbling

Unlike his fictional character, "Indiana Jones" who hates snakes, Ford likes them, as he gave a statement, "The snake's got eyes you can drown in, and he spends most of the day sunning himself by a pool of dirty water — we probably would've been friends in the early '60s."

He continued, "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."

Ford also offers a word of caution: "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."

Here's more about the Harrison Ford snake, here!

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