Nineteen species of fern found in Central and South America, Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, have been named after Lady Gaga. At one stage of its life, the new genus Gaga has somewhat fluid definitions of gender and resembles one of the pop star’s famous outfits. Members of the new genus also bear a distinct DNA sequence spelling GAGA.
Two of the species are new to science: Gaga germanotta from Costa Rica honors her family name, while a Mexican species dubbed Gaga monstraparva honors her fans, the ‘little monsters.’ Study leader Kathleen Pryer, a Duke University biology professor, said:
We wanted to name this genus for Lady Gaga because of her fervent defense of equality and individual expression. And as we started to consider it, the ferns themselves gave us more reasons why it was a good choice.
Pryer compared Lady Gaga’s heart-shaped Armani Prive costume to the bisexual reproductive stage of the ferns (shown in the top image), and the way the fern extends its new leaves in a clenched little ball reminded Pryer of Gaga’s “paws up” salute to her fans. Check out the video below to learn more: