Skip to main content

Mandela's unusual tributes: bird, nuclear particle named after him

By Faith Karimi, CNN
June 12, 2013 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A woodpecker is officially named Australopicus nelsonmandelai
  • 'Paravanda Nelson Mandela" in Singapore is also named after the former president
  • In Britain, a nuclear particle is also named after him in Britain

(CNN) -- Woodpecker. Spider species. Nuclear particle. For anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, the varied list of namesakes keeps growing.

In July last year, just in time for his birthday, scientists named a prehistoric woodpecker after him, adding to the many tributes for South Africa's first black president.

The woodpecker, officially named Australopicus nelsonmandelai, was unveiled by scientists at a fossil site on the nation's southwest coast.

Thousands of miles away, Mandela's name is on yet another unusual item: an apartment in a British sitcom.

The apartment in "Only Fools and Horses" was called Nelson Mandela house. The main characters in the sitcom, which was broadcast for decades until early 2000s, lived in the house.

Nelson Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president who reconciled South Africa after the end of apartheid, died on Thursday, December 5, according to the country's president, Jacob Zuma. Mandela was 95. Nelson Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president who reconciled South Africa after the end of apartheid, died on Thursday, December 5, according to the country's president, Jacob Zuma. Mandela was 95.
The evolution of Nelson Mandela
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
The evolution of Nelson Mandela The evolution of Nelson Mandela
Prayers for Mandela in South Africa
Spokesperson: Celebrate Mandela's life

Years earlier, a British university named a nuclear particle after him. The 'Mandela particle' got its honor in 1973 from the physics institute at Leeds University.

And the list goes on. And on, according to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

There's the orchid, 'Paravanda Nelson Mandela," named after him during his 1997 visit to the botanical garden in Singapore.

And the "Escape from Robin Island" computer game with him as a hero who breaks away from the island to free his daughter.

In Argentina, there was a racing horse named "Mandela" in 1971, when he was languishing in prison after a life sentence for sabotage.

Mandela was sentenced to 27 years in 1964 for his fight against the apartheid government in South Africa. The frail icon has battled health issues in recent months, and is hospitalized in serious but stable condition in Pretoria for a recurring lung infection.

With advancing age and bouts of illness, Mandela has retreated to a quiet life, but still retains a special place in the nation's consciousness.

But as he has faded away from public life, the accolades kept coming.

Worldwide, there are buildings, streets, parks, postage stamps, even flowers named after him.

READ: Mandela's friend says 'it's time to let him go'

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 2001 GMT (0401 HKT)
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 0916 GMT (1716 HKT)
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 0655 GMT (1455 HKT)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
September 21, 2014 -- Updated 2344 GMT (0744 HKT)
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1549 GMT (2349 HKT)
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT