Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Meets the 469-Million-Year-Old Fossil Named After Him

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Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Meets the 469-Million-Year-Old Fossil Named After Him
Continuing to prove there's nothing more metal than palaeontology, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has had a 469-million-year-old fossil named after him by Scandinavian researchers.

Joining the ranks of GojiraBetween the Buried and Me, Rush, Bob Marley and countless other music legends, Iommi's legacy will extend into the realm of the natural world.

Part-time scientists and full-time metal-heads in Scandinavia uncovered the 469-million-year-old fossil in Russia. They decided to name their scientific discovery — an entirely new species of conodonts, which are eel-like marine animals from the Cambrian to Triassic periods now believed to be the earliest vertebrae — Drepanoistodus Iommii after the musician.

From the iconic Black Sabbath bench in Birmingham, Westside BID manager Mike Olley set up a FaceTime meeting between Iommi and lead palaeontologist Mats Eriksson to celebrate the rocker's fossilization.

"The only reason why we do this is to have fun and, for me, it's a way of combining my love affairs with nature and with music," Eriksson explained to Iommi over the phone from his home in Sweden. The Lund University geology professor also commissioned legendary "heavy metal painter" Joe Petagno to create some art to mark the momentous occasion, which was presented to the guitarist.

"It was a real shock that a fossil's been named after me," Iommi admitted. "I've had a bit of abuse from my friends about it who've enjoyed calling me an old fossil, but I think it's great; a real honour. This has to be the weirdest thing that's ever been named after me."

And better yet, this is the only year we'll be able to say that the fossil's 469 million years old. Nice timing, science.

Watch the historic encounter between rocker and rock unfold below.


Estranged Sabbath drummer Bill Ward revealed that he wants to make another album with the band, who recently treated their 1976 album Technical Ecstasy to a super deluxe box set.