While people find the most bizarre thing on social media platforms, scientists have now discovered a new species of parasitic fungus on Twitter. According to a study published in the journal MycoKeys, the scientists reportedly spotted an image of a millipede while scrolling through the site and noticed a few tiny dots near the creature’s head. The scientists reportedly said that it was something that they had never seen in the American millipedes.
Happy to see the first #Laboulbeniales paper in @MycoKeys. @SReboleira et al. describe a #NewSpecies of Troglomyces from an American millipede—discovered here on @Twitter thanks to a photo posted by @derekhennen! https://t.co/ZVwKgdWxa9 #SocialMedia #FungalDiversity pic.twitter.com/aWtjAciwBo— Dr. Danny Haelewaters 🇧🇪🇪🇺🏳️🌈 (@dhaelewa) May 14, 2020
As per the research, the newly discovered parasitic fungus has now been given its official Latin name, ‘Troglomyces twitteri’. Ana Sofia Reboleira from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark reportedly said that she could see something looking like fungi on the surface of the millipede.
As they were something she had never seen ever before, she then went to one of her colleagues and showed him the image. She added that is when they both ran down to the museum’s collections and began digging.
The team of researchers discovered several specimens of the same fungus on a few of the Americal millipedes in the Natural History Museum’s enormous collection. They then confirmed the existence of a previously unknown species of Laboulbeniales, which is an order of tiny, bizarre and largely unknown fungal parasites that attack insects and millipedes.
Furthermore, as per the research, the sciences then pointed out that the discovery is an example of how sharing information on social media can result in completely unexpected results.
Reboleria reportedly said that as far as the researchers know, this is the first time that a new species has been discovered on Twitter. She added the discovery highlights the importance of the social media platforms for sharing research and thereby being able to achieve the new result. Moreover, she also hopes that the discovery will motivate professional and amateur researchers to share more data via social media.
She said that the discovery is something that has been increasingly obvious during the coronavirus crisis, a time when so many are prevented from getting into the field of laboratories. She also believes that social media is generally playing a larger role in research. Roboleria further stressed that the result was possible because of her access to one of the world’s largest biological collections.