In 1950, Maury Meiklejohn was an ornithologist, and he knew his profession was in need of something that didn't yet exist. He heroically stepped up, and the bare-fronted hoodwink was unleashed on the world.
Every discipline has its frustrations. Disciplines that deal with wild animals have more than their share. Throw in the fact that some wild animals can fly away, extremely fast, and it's no wonder that ornithologists account for over eighty percent of concrete blocks being heaved off of overpasses. (This is not a fact.)
To combat this stress, Maury Meiklejohn decided to come up with a name for a phenomenon that most ornithologists are familiar with. The bare-fronted hoodwink (Dissimulatrix spuria) is every bird that ornithologists can never quite get a good look at, and can't quite manage to catch in their nets or their traps. It's the flying sasquatch, never satisfactorily captured, seen, or photographed.
The hoodwink proved such a popular animal that, in 1975, it got its own exhibit. The Royal Scottish Museum opened the exhibit on April 1st, covering its walls with photographs of blurry hoodwinks, or hoodwinks that weren't quite entirely in frame.
It's good to know that ornithology has its needs covered, but what about other professions - especially scientific professions. io9ers, tell us about the "almosts" of your profession, and what names they deserve.
Image: Francisco M. Marzoa Alonso