Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi has been introduced to a 469-million-year-old fossil named after him: the Drepanoistodus Iommii.
The formal ceremony took place this week near the Black Sabbath bench in Birmingham conducted by Westside Business Improvement District (BID) general manager Mike Olley.
A photograph of a fossil was shown to Iommi up close. The veteran guitarist expressed his excitement in a video by Westside BID.
“It was a real shock to learn that a real fossil has been named after me,” he said, before joking that “you can imagine my friends now, and all the abuse I’ve got.” He later added that the fossil “has to be the most weirdest thing that’s ever been named after me.”
In the clip, Iommi also meets paleontologist Mats Eriksson, who named the fossil after him. Watch it below.
“What an absolute honor it is to meet you,” Eriksson tells Iommi via video call.
“The only reason why we do this is to sort of have fun and for me it’s a way of combining my love affairs with nature and music. That’s played such an important role in all my life.” Iommi responded: “It’s really great, I’m really proud of it. Thank you very much.”
The remains of the eel-like creature now known as Drepanoistodus Iommii was reportedly found near a Russian river by a Scandinavian team of scientists, which included Eriksson.
Eriksson told NBC News in October that naming the fossil after Iommi was his way of “honoring one of the greatest guitarists in the world in one of the greatest bands of all time.”
“He is already immortalized in the music history books and now also in science with this fossil bearing his name,” he added.
Earlier this year, Iommi mentioned in an interview that a biopic about Black Sabbath has been discussed.