How The Beatles Influenced Science As We Know It

How The Beatles Influenced Science As We Know It | Society Of Rock Videos

via The Beatles/YouTube

The Beatles’ album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, had a significant impact on the scientific world when it inspired the name of a famous fossil.

In 1974, paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson discovered the skeleton of a prehistoric ape-like creature known as Australopithecus afarensis, and he decided to name her “Lucy” after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

Johanson explained that the suggestion to name the fossil “Lucy” sparked immediate enthusiasm among the team, and everyone became fully committed to the discovery. He said that the affectionate name made a difference saying:

“I think that’s part of what led to her becoming such an icon, giving her this affectionate name that people could identify with.
“When they saw photographs, it wasn’t a chunk of jaw or even a skull staring with empty eye sockets — it was the visage of an individual.”

He noted that young people are particularly interested in Lucy. He regularly receives letters from children asking about Lucy’s life. In fact, he frequently gets mail from kids requesting information about Lucy’s life.

The 2014 film, Lucy, further increased Lucy’s fame. The movie featured a superpowered woman named Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson, who travels back in time to meet the prehistoric creature in a scene reminiscent of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam.

Although “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was never released as a single and did not appear on the music charts, the album it came from, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was a massive success. It topped the Billboard 200 chart for a total of 15 weeks and remained on the chart for 233 weeks.

According to the Official Charts Company, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was never number one in the UK either. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, meanwhile, reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom. and spent an astounding 277 weeks on the list. It later reached its peak at No. 3 and remained there for an additional 16 weeks.

The discovery of Lucy was a significant event in scientific history, and the decision to name her after a Beatles song played a crucial role in making her an enduring and well-known figure.

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