SCIENCE

Lady Gaga Fern: Pop Star Honored With Newly Discovered Genus With 'Fluid Definitions Of Gender'

10/24/2012 03:27 pm ET | Updated Feb 21, 2013

It's official: Lady Gaga is now an honorary fern.

The superstar has taken on many different appearances throughout the years, including a body-suited, catlike creature in her "Bad Romance" music video and her male alter ego, Joe Calderone. But last week Duke researchers announced their plans to honor the entertainer with a newly identified genus of ferns, as well as 19 species within the genus.

The Gaga genus can be found in Central and South America, Mexico, Arizona and Texas, according to the university press release.

However, the singer's name was not chosen on a whim, notes study leader Kathleen Pryer, a Duke University biology professor and director of the Duke Herbarium.

According to the release, at a certain stage of its life, the Gaga genus "has somewhat fluid definitions of gender." Members of the genus also have a distinct DNA sequence spelling GAGA, and during their bisexual reproductive stage, they even resemble the heart-shaped costume Lady Gaga wore during the 2010 Grammy Awards.

On the other hand, the Duke researchers also cop to being pretty serious Gaga fans.

“We think that her second album, "Born this Way," is enormously empowering,” Pryer said, according to The New York Times, “especially for disenfranchised people and communities like LGBT, ethnic groups, women — and scientists who study odd ferns!”

Some of the names bestowed upon the new fern species include "Gaga germanotta" -- a nod to Lady Gaga's given name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta -- and "Gaga monstraparva," a Latin translation for "little monsters," a fond nickname for the singer's passionate fan base.

This is not Lady Gaga's first natural homage, however. In September, a tiny new species of parasitoid wasp from Thailand was named in honor of the pop phenomenon.

Gaga now joins the ranks of several celebrities whose monikers adorn flora and fauna.

In January, pop singer Beyonce was similarly honored when a newly discovered Australian horse fly was given her stage name. The researcher who discovered Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae called the fly "pretty bootylicious."

Also on HuffPost:

Organisms Named After Celebrities
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS