Batman fans will be thrilled to learn that a newly discovered species of spider has been named after Joaquin Phoenix, because it shares an incredible resemblance to how he looked as the Joker. If you suffer from arachnophobia, you might not want to read past this point.
The spider species has been named Loureedia Phoenixi, because the red and white markings on its back strongly resemble the Joker’s grinning face. Although if we saw this thing crawling out of our sinks, the last thing we would do is grin.
While its body measures only around eight millimetres in length, we can see from magnified images courtesy of Live Science that this creature does indeed look very similar to Batman’s arch nemeses. So the name seems appropriate.
The species was found in Iran, and it actually belongs to a family of velvet spiders named after the singer Lou Reed, from the band The Velvet Underground. So far, only male Loureedia Phoenixi spiders have been identified, although scientists are searching for females. But seeing as this species spends almost its entire life underground, that may be easier said than done. To be honest, we would be fine if they never came aboveground, because we want these spiders to stay as far away from us as possible.
Joaquin Phoenix won an Oscar for his portrayal as the Clown Prince of Crime, and seeing as he’s a lifelong vegan and a dedicated animal rights activist, we imagine he will be honoured to learn that a member of the animal kingdom has now been named after him. Joker is also the only R-rated film to surpass $1 billion at the global box office, which means a sequel is probably inevitable.