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
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
James Dawes: Evil is the strongest word we have to prepare ourselves to kill others.
August 23, 2014 -- Updated 0159 GMT (0959 HKT)
As protests over the shooting of an unarmed black teen calmed down, the question remains: Where's the police officer who pulled the trigger?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
CNN's Tim Lister: Getting rid of ISIS will be tougher than taking on al Qaeda.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0042 GMT (0842 HKT)
American patients infected with Ebola are being released from the hospital. What now?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1048 GMT (1848 HKT)
One of the first observers at the MH17 crash site in Ukraine describes the harrowing scene.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 0036 GMT (0836 HKT)
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid gestures during the UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Sevilla at Cardiff City Stadium on August 12, 2014 Cardiff, Wales.
"We are like one grain of sand against a whole beach," says Eibar fan Unai Eraso.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1022 GMT (1822 HKT)
From fierce protests in Ferguson, to an Ebola survivor discharged from a hospital in Atlanta, browse through the photos of the week.
ADVERTISEMENT