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 December 5, 2013. He was 95. Nelson Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president who reconciled South Africa after the end of apartheid, died on December 5, 2013. He 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
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1327 GMT (2127 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 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