And while we were in lockdown,

The Trachypithecus Popa. Image:Twitter@otonista

And while we were in lockdown, 9 new species were discovered in 2020

During the course of the year, scientists and explorers discovered 9 new species: From Mammalia to Reptilia to Plantae.

And while we were in lockdown,

The Trachypithecus Popa. Image:Twitter@otonista

Maybe lockdown wasn’t such a bad experience after all.

Why? you might ask. Well, for one, nature flourished while we were all cooped up in our rooms. Our earth looked greener when we weren’t outside polluting it and and animals returned to spaces formerly dominated by us.

And while the world scurried and struggled to make sense of the ‘new normal,’ it was heartening to hear how the planet healed while we were isolated.

At the same time, the world scored, as Covid-hit 2020 saw 9 new species earning their place in the science journals around the world.


Trachypithecus Popa

The Trachypithecus Popa, more commonly known as the Popa langur belongs to the monkey clan and is found only in Myanmar, Southeast Asia.

What makes this find so rare is that this species are actually Primates, making it unusual to have found them.

Disappointingly, there are only 200-250 of these creatures left out there rendering it endangered.

However, with their unmistakably naughty charisma, there’s never a dull moment.

The T Popa have grey-brownish and white bellies with black hands that makes it seem like they have gloves on, plus, they are so friendly, their interactions can hardly be differentiated from that of men.

Jonah’s Mouse Lemur

These exceptionally adorable, human-fist size furry creatures have been discovered in in the protected Mananara National Park in Northeastern Madagascar. This 60g primate’s scientific name is Microcebus jonahi.


Achilinus Zugorum 

This snake, with its mesmerizing shiny appearance, was found, ironically, underground like a jewel.

It was discovered in Vietnam, more specifically, in the province of Ha Giang. It is a species that belongs to a rare genus of snakes that have evolved from trees.

It appears to have skin on the dark side with scales switching from green to blue. 

It was named in honor of George Zug, the Smithsonian National Museum’s retired curator of reptiles and amphibians, and his wife, Patricia Zug.

It also forms part of a genus of snakes called Achalinus which means odd-scaled snakes.

Tiganophyton Karanese 

This plant was discovered in the arid Karas region of Namibia and resembles kale, brussel sprouts, and broccoli (people are actually calling it desert broccoli).

However, it is a family in the plant order, Brassicales.

Cortinarius Hetherae 

This species was discovered with just 6 mushrooms down by the river at the end of the Heathrow Airport runway and was named after the discoverer’s wife, Heather. Three mushrooms belonging to the same family, Cortinarius, were discovered in Scotland.


Salazar’s Pit Viper 

The Trimeresurus Salazar was found in Arunachal Pradesh a North-Indian state named after the Harry Potter character Salazar Slytherin.

Salazar is the founder of the Slytherin House where the symbol is a snake making it the perfect find… One for the Potter heads! 

The species are nocturnal and are bright green with genders distinguished by whether or not they have an orange stripe on their foreheads, with males being lucky to have that stripe.

Heterometrus yaleensis 

This large, 10 cm scorpion has been found in Sri Lanka, named the “Yala Giant Scorpion” after being discovered in the Yale national park. The females of the species are larger and the males have a more colourful appearance.

But here’s the kick, these scorpions are not venomous, the bigger the scorpion the less harmful they are. 

The Heterometrus yaleensis is the 6th new scorpion species to have been found in Sri Lanka by scientists. 


The Joaquin Phoenix Spider 

This spider was found in Iran is part of the Velvet Spider genus. Usually, these spiders are found in Mediterranean climates, so this is the first one found beyond that region.

The 8mm spider was named after the actor Joaquin Phoenix who played the comic book character, The Joker in the 2019 film, with its rich and bold red and white color combination resembling the Joker’s face paint.

Giant Siphonophore 

This strange looking 47m creatures, the Praya Dubia, looks somewhat like an elongated jellyfish.

It is the longest animal ever discovered and was found in the deep-sea canyons near Ningaloo.

They are covered in venom-filled nematocysts used to paralyze and kill their prey.

It is not deadly to humans, but their stings are said to be excruciatingly painful.