Fronds up! A group of scientists from Duke University announced this week that they have named a newly discovered genus of ferns after Lady Gaga. The scientists say “Gaga” was an obvious choice, as the ferns have a “somewhat fluid definitions of gender” and because the sequence GAGA shows up in each varieties’ DNA sequencing. Perhaps less scientific, Kathleen Pryer, director of the school’s herbarium, cops to being a fan of the Mother Monster: “We think that her second album, Born This Way, is enormously empowering, especially for disenfranchised people and communities like LGBT, ethnic groups, women — and scientists who study odd ferns!” Black, white beige or fern greenCause, baby, you were born/spawned/germinated this way.
As it turns out, scientists aren’t just eyeball to the microscope all the time’ if these pop star organisms are any indication, they tend to have good taste in music, too.
Earlier this year, Australian scientists named this horse fly after Beyonce because, “It was the unique dense golden hairs on the fly’s abdomen that led me to name this fly in honor of the performer.”
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards each have a namesake trilobite, as to the The Ramones (the Mackenziurus genus) and The Sex Pistols (the Arcticalymene genus). Who knew prehistoric arthropods could be so rock and roll?
Reggae legend Bob Marley has a tiny species of Caribbean crustacean named after him.
There are so many plants and animals and organisms of sorts named after musicians and famous people that the topic has garnered its own Wikipedia page, and it’s well worth a gander. Science is cool, after all!