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UBC researchers have discovered two new symbionts living in the gut of termites, and taken the unusual step of naming them after fictional monsters created by American horror author HP Lovecraft.
The single-cell protists, Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque, help termites digest wood. The researchers decided to name them after monstrous cosmic entities featured in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe.