There’s a Species of Spider Named After Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash, also known as “The Man in Black,” was a popular singer and songwriter. His music inspired a generation, and his bad-boy persona is legendary to this day. He was born into a poor religious household in Arkansas. His original name was J.R. Cash, but he would eventually take the name Johnny Cash, synonymous with his bluesy, country, and rock songs.

Who is Johnny Cash?

Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash | Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Johnny Cash is an iconic artist that came to fame in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and he’s influenced music that followed. In 1950, the future singer began his stint in the U.S. Air Force. While serving his country in West Germany, he bought his very first guitar for just $5. He went on to form his first band, Landsberg Barbarians. reports that in 1954, Cash was discharged from the Air Force. During that same year, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, a new band that included Marshall Grant and Luther Perkins, made a name for themselves when they went to see Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records. They performed, although Phillips wanted them to make a change from the gospel songs they sang. They returned with their own song called “Hey Porter,” which he liked. Once they did, they were signed, and fame followed soon after. W.S. Holland came on later in 1960, and the background band was renamed the Tennessee Three.

Cash would go on to become extremely successful. He was an inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, an honor much-deserved. Although wildly successful, the singer dealt with addiction issues throughout his life. He had an addiction to amphetamines on and off during his career, and to painkillers in the 1980s. The winner of 13 Grammy Awards died in 2003 from complications from diabetes just months after his beloved wife, June Carter Cash, died.

There’s a species of spider named after Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Live Science reports that a study published in 2016 in ZooKeys, a scientific journal, took a deep dive into the different types of tarantulas when it comes to their specific species. It was the result of this study that one of these species received a very fitting name. The research took over a decade to complete, and included tarantulas gathered in the wild, from museums, and from citizens sending in their own images of the eight-legged creatures in the southwestern area of the United States.

A new species was discovered and given an interesting name. Aphonopelma johnnycashi is named after the renowned singer. The new species was quite prevalent around a place made famous by Cash’s song, “Folsom Prison Blues,” in Folsom, California close to Folsom State Prison. Dr. Chris Hamilton, an arachnologist and head writer of the article, named the spider for Johnny Cash. It’s an appropriate name for the new species because its colors are synonymous with “The Man in Black,” since mature males are usually colored all black. Cash was known for his signature all-black attire and once performed at the prison.

Johnny Cash will live on not just in his music, but as a name for a new species of spider as well.