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Indian scientists name new spider after Harry Potter hat

By Agence France-Presse in Mumbai | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-17 06:48

Indian scientists have discovered a new species of spider that looks "uncannily" like the sorting hat in the Harry Potter series, and they have named it after the hat's owner, Godric Gryffindor.

Ardent fans of the boy wizard came across the 7-millimeter-long spider in October last year during a survey of the lush Western Ghats mountain range in southwest India.

"My colleagues and I are geeks, and we all thought,'Hey, this curious little spider looks exactly like the sorting hat.' It was uncannily similar,"Mumbai scientist Javed Ahmed said on Thursday.

"So we made a pact that if this turns out to be a new species, we will name it after the sorting hat," he added, referring to the magical headwear that assigns students to their houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the hugely popular series.

By June, Ahmed and his fellow scientists were "100 percent" sure it was a new species, so they went ahead and named the pointy-shaped and nocturnal spider Eriovixia Gryffindori.

A review by experts confirmed that the spider, which mimics the shape of leaves to avoid predators, was indeed a newly discovered species.

The discovery was published in December's Indian Journal of Arachnology and sparked a wave of excitement on social media, with Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling taking to Twitter to express her delight.

"I'm truly honoured! Congratulations on discovering another #FantasticBeast!" Rowling tweeted to Ahmed.

After the tweet was sent, Javed said,"I was so thrilled!"

Indian scientists name new spider after Harry Potter hat 

The newly discovered spider resembles the sorting hat from the Harry Potter series. Sumukha J.N/Afp


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