You Can Bid To Name A New Moth Species On eBay


Every once in a while, you hear about the unusual items that you can bid on to own through eBay, and here's yet another one to add to the list.

The Western National Parks Association has put the chance to help name a new moth species that weighs less than an ounce and measures about an inch up for auction on eBay. The winning bidder will work with research scientist Eric H. Metzler to create an official scientific name of his or her choice for the new species he discovered about eight years ago at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

Of course, the right to name a new species usually goes to the person that discovered it. However, Metzler, who has discovered about 40 new moth species, wanted to give back to the Western National Parks Association since it had funded some of his research, so he asked the organization to set up the online auction and take the proceeds, according to The Associated Press.

"I am not a rich man and I don't have a lot of money to give to charity but this is the way I could give them money in the form of service. I could use my brains to help them," Metzler told The Associated Press.

Metzler will work with the winning bidder to Latinize the name, which will then be submitted to an international organization for approval. That name will be permanently attributed to the winning bidder and recognized in perpetuity by scientists in the future. A specimen of the moth will also be housed at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. where the winner will be able to visit it in the Research Collections.

Bidding for the naming of the moth opened Saturday at $500, and the current bid is $5,800 at the time of this writing. The auction runs until Oct. 23. After that, you'll just have to discover your own new species if you want to name one.

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