Saturday, August 3, 2013

Newsflash: Name That Fish and Win A Trip!

There's an unconscious gap between scientists and laypeople. Usually, the average Joe has nothing to do with labs and such. We're just the consumers of science; we don't make it. That's up to smart people in labs with white coats...right?

Well, National Geographic is doing something about that. A new fish has been discovered, and it's up to you and I to give it a common name. The scientists have their hands full tracing the fish's taxonomic history, but anyone can give it a common name. From July 31 to August 26th, National Geographic is giving one of us non-science-y folks a chance to name a colorful fish cited off the coast of Chile. More below:

"What's in a name? Whether you're star-crossed lovers in a Shakespeare play or researchers exploring the ends of the Earth, names can be everything. A proper name can transcend languages and cultures, allowing anyone around the world to know who or what you're talking about.

Now, folks have a chance to help give a mystery fish a new identity—and for one lucky contest winner, a chance to go on a ten-day trip to the Galápagos.

Discovered in February in the seas surrounding the Desventuradas Islands (the "unfortunate" islands in Spanish) off the coast of Chile, experts say this fish (pictured) could be a new species.
The National Geographic Society is holding a contest from July 31 to August 26 to give this mystery fish a common name. People can enter their submissions in the comment box below. (Learn more about the contest rules.)

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala came upon the four-inch (ten-centimeter) creature while exploring a seamount near San Félix Island (map) in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
While maneuvering a submersible 436 feet (133 meters) down a basalt wall, Sala and colleagues spotted several brightly colored spots hovering near the rock. "We got closer and tried to focus and zoom our video camera to get a closer look, but the spots darted into a hole and disappeared as soon as our submarine lights were on them," Sala wrote in an email." Source and entry page here.

All you have to do is comment with a name on the page linked above. Then you'll be automatically entered into the drawing. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to name an animal; take it. The trip to the Galapagos is a nice bonus, too. Have fun, get creative, and good luck!

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