FACT FOOD #468

Boojum is a meaningless word given to a character by Lewis Carroll in his 1876 poem ‘The Hunting of the Snark’. In the poem, Boojum refers to a dangerous variety of snark, an imaginary creature. However, the word boojum inspired the naming of a species of a tree native to Mexico coined by the plant explorer Godfrey Sykes in 1922. In addition, boojum is also the name used for a cancelled supersonic cruise missle project in the 1950’s and a geometrical pattern named by David Mermin which is found on the surface of superfluid helium-3.