Let me tell you about my favourite molecule. It is completely useless, but awesome nevertheless. Its name is penguinone, simply named that way because its molecular structure looks like a penguin.
The full scientific chemistry-nerd name for penguinone is 3,4,4,5-tetramethylcyclohexa-2,5-dienone, but why would we bother with such a mouthfull?
So far, there hasn’t been a use for penguinone, but in the last few years, my friends and I have started a bit of a running joke around penguins, including putting penguin easter eggs in our presentations and reports, using penguinone to explain certain phenomena (specifically Raman spectroscopy), and spreading random origami penguins in random places.
And then, a very talented friend of mine made a crochet penguinone and all hell broke loose. Well, not really, it just prompted a twitter account which Pengiunone now uses to post narcissistic travel pics and random penguin pictures. Because: #PenguinsAreAwesome.
This included episodes like when Penguinone was looking for a new place to live:
was on vacation in mostly very sunny and warm places:
doing arts and crafts:
and participating in the March for Science:
So there’s no point in telling you all this. I just randomly remembered that some time ago (okay, a long time ago), I wrote a bit about geneticists having fun with names, but as it turns out, chemists are pretty punny too.