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5 Animals That Look Like Lady Gaga

So theatrical, so blazing with color, so much larger than life—are we talking about Lady Gaga or a sea slug?

Despite being one of the most creatively outfitted performers of all time, Lady Gaga has some competition in the animal world. Nature’s show-stoppers include everything from insects with balls on their head to psychedelic frogfish. And unlike people, these animals don’t need outfits to look outrageous.

Globe-Bearing Treehopper

Yes, the globe-bearing treehopper is real.

globe-bearing treehopper picture
A globe-bearing treehopper seen in French Guyana in 2005. Photograph by Patrick Landmann, Getty Images

But don’t take our links for it. Look it up: Bocydium globulare. We don’t blame you for being suspicious: It’s not every day you see an insect that looks exactly like an instrument to measure wind speed.

The globe-bearing treehopper is native to northern South America, feeds on the underside of glory bushes, and what those mesmerizing balls are for is anybody’s guess. One theory is that its hairy balls may capture air vibrations when any predators approach and thus warn the insect of danger.

“I sometimes imagine,” treehopper expert Geoff Balme wrote on his blog, “that much in our world is possible simply because there are no natural objections to it.”

Thankfully, nature has seen fit to grow these incredible insects to be only about a third of an inch long (7.5 millimeters). Imagine if they were the size of, well, a pop star?

We have, actually: Lada Gaga’s flying dress looks a lot like a globe-bearing treehopper painted white.

Fried Egg Jellyfish

Everybody loves a sequel. Since Gaga arrived at the 2011 Grammy Awards in an egg, she could take the next step and return in a costume based on the fried egg or egg yolk jellyfish. (Lady Gaga has taken inspiration from animals before—lobsterdeer, and Kermit the Frog among them.)

Fried Egg Jellyfish picture
A fried egg jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea off Spain. Photograph by Scfotos, Stuart Crump Visuals/Alamy

True, from one angle these jellyfish look like your breakfast hopped into the water and is making a swim for it, but from the side Cotylorhiza tuberculata is colorful, elegant, and would make a terrific hoop skirt.

On its underside it has eight folds of flesh called lappets, and attached to these are tentacles of varying lengths. Dashes of vivid blue and purple decorate the tips of tentacles between its oral arms—long, delicate appendages that help jellies catch prey.

If they were fried eggs, they’d have to be ostrich eggs—these jellies measure nearly a foot (0.3 meter) wide and are found mainly in the Mediterranean and sometimes the Adriatic and Aegean seas.

Bonus: Unlike most jellyfish, the fried egg is able to guide itself and doesn’t need to go with currents—very much like creative artists.

Psychedelic Frogfish

This dazzling psychedelic frogfish has something to teach pop stars hounded by paparazzi: Despite being visually stunning and having dodgy steering, it managed to elude not only cameras but all of humanity for centuries.

Psychedelic Frogfish picture
Psychedelic frogfish in Indonesia’s Banda Sea. Photograph by Waterframe, Alamy

The fish did this by squeezing into coral crevices and avoiding detection  until 2008, when divers spotted one in the harbor of Ambon Island, Indonesia.

Scientists confirmed it as a new species in 2009, and Ted Pietsch, curator of fishes at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, named the creature Histiophryne psychedelica in honor of its far-out coloration.

The animal also navigates like it’s a little high: Its curved tail gives it a swerving trajectory that Pietsch called “intoxicated,” quipping that the fish “should be cited for DUI.” (Related: “Psychedelic Fish Bounces Like a Ball.”)

H. psychedelia is also an anglerfish, but it sets itself apart by not having the characteristic lure coming out of its head and not changing its wavy peach, beige, and white colors.

These funky fish also have forward-looking eyes, like humans (fish usually have eyes on either side of their heads and see different things with each one).

Extravagant and forward-looking: Are there any better qualifications for a pop star wardrobe?

Gunnison Sage-Grouse

The Gunnison sage-grouse is a turkey-like bird that’s probably more wonderfully outfitted and a better dancer than many human entertainers. The bird uses the U.S. West—including parts of Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico—as a stage. The weirdness of this bird’s mating display is so exceptional that if you click the link once, be warned: You’ll want to hit repeat.

Gunnison Sage Grouse picture
A male Gunnison sage-grouse performing a courtship display. Photograph by Charles Melton/Alamy

Moreover, its appearance—long, wide, fluffy white collar; elaborate burst of tail feathers; a posh headdress; and two yellow air sacs on the chest that not only inflate during the dance but also make a popping sound—is perfectly Gaga.

That anything this outlandish exists and doesn’t have job in the music industry is too bad, but it’s sadder still that it might not be performing forever. The Gunnison sage-grouse, Centrocercus minimus, is listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Nudibranchs

The term “sea slug” might not conjure images of candy-colored animals with graceful mobility and seemingly impossible variations, but nudibranchs have all those things: Check out this incredible photo gallery by National Geographic photographer David Doubilet.

sea slug picture
A Bornella anguilla sea slug in Cebu, Philippines. Photograph by Waterframe, Alamy

These marine invertebrates can be tiny (less than an inch [2.5 centimeters] long) or big (up to a foot [31 centimeters] long) and are found in oceans the world over.

Their endless supply of patterns can be either camouflage or warnings to predators that they carry chemical defenses derived from the toxins of their prey.

There are so many over-the-top nudibranchs that picking one to base a costume on is almost impossible, but Bornella anguilla has such a fierce, dramatic, Chinese-dragon style that its stage presence would certainly be irresistible.

Oh, what the heck, why not all of them? There are more than 3,000 species. That should cover Lady Gaga for at least a year.

Follow Liz Langley on Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Zimiri Timini
    Papua New Guinea (PortMoresby)
    January 14, 1:07 am

    God is awesome in his creation, dont like lady gaga but i admire the unique creatures

  2. HappyOnEarth
    USA
    January 5, 1:01 pm

    I wonder if the theists believe they get more brownie points with their Big Imaginary Friend by posting comments to blogs like this?

    Do they really believe that free thinkers are going to read their comments and shout, “Hallelujah! I’m going to start going to church now because of you wrote about irreducible complexity!” Really?

    Yes, every one of these animals serves a purpose. Its purpose is to live, reproduce, die and provide nourishment for other animals, bacteria and plants. They need no other purpose but that.

    Some willfully ignorant people want to beleive that all these interesting shapes and colors point to a designer (usually their version of God) But as the scientist noted above: In nature, everything that is not prohibited is permitted. Natural variation and selection account very well for all of the diversity in the shapes, life cycles and actions of every living thing on Earth. No intelligent designer needed. Ever.

  3. khizar
    hyderabad
    January 4, 5:00 am

    Really interesting to see this type of creatures

  4. tberry
    the world
    January 2, 11:18 pm

    I admire the pictures, postings and prestige. Please remember this is an opportunity to share with one another, as commentary of sender posts; “was meant as compliment.” We must understand that we are created in the image of God and the creatures we are to rule over are less then the complexity of the human being. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and should be so inspired to replicate what may be deemed beautiful, “imitation is the greatest form of flattery”~ I believe the ol’ saying goes! Bravo! Liz, I do believe you may have enlightened some of us with your findings, ‘knowledge is power.’

  5. Amber Delamere
    what's this for o.0
    December 31, 2013, 1:33 am

    Omg! These are so amazing! That grouse is certainly… unique. And, like you said, perfectly Gaga xD

  6. Felix Christian
    December 29, 2013, 1:46 am

    I don’t know what’s better, to laugh or to symphatize. Well anyways, great job. I give you my salutations.

  7. cherllyod7742
    december 26 9:07
    December 26, 2013, 9:09 pm

    They are the ugliest animals I’ve ever seen in my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. muhammed dobb
    December 26, 2013, 8:00 am

    These are really beautiful …

  9. yola
    Poland
    December 25, 2013, 2:47 pm

    these animals look more beautiful then Lady Gaga ;-)

  10. Liz Langley
    December 24, 2013, 6:27 pm

    @Marcel Hambuckers & @John Barlow
    Fixed – thanks! :)

  11. Tammy Law :Ps200 student 8 years old
    Rumson
    December 24, 2013, 6:15 pm

    Are these new species ?

  12. Tammy Law :Ps200 student 8 years old
    Rumson N.J
    December 24, 2013, 6:14 pm

    The Fried Egg Jellyfish looks like a fried egg with a thousand of legs !Hee ,Hee,Hee!

  13. mick
    December 24, 2013, 10:18 am

    What’s a ladygaga?

  14. John Barlow
    December 24, 2013, 3:54 am

    You might want to check your metric conversion in the ‘sea slug’ section? “(up to a foot [0.6 meter] long)”

  15. Marcel Hambuckers
    Netherlands
    December 23, 2013, 8:32 pm

    Found a typo in the last part of the article. It says: “These marine invertebrates can be tiny (less than an inch [2.5 centimeters] long) or big (up to a foot [0.6 meter] long) and are found in oceans the world over”.
    One foot is 305mm, not 0.6meters.

  16. KEVIN KARKI
    December 23, 2013, 8:01 pm

    YES THEY DO LIKE LADY GAGA, OR GAGA IS AN ANCESTOR OF THEIRS M CONFUSED….

  17. abhilipsha mishra
    23/12/13
    December 23, 2013, 10:42 am

    these r really beautiful………

  18. Liz Langley
    December 23, 2013, 10:21 am

    Very happy to see people getting to look at these fabulous animals – click on the links for more pics & info about them (I know – I didn’t think some of them were real when I first saw them either!) :)

  19. Mary Centeno
    Ecuador
    December 23, 2013, 8:16 am

    this is so wonderful!

  20. Varun
    Bengaluru
    December 23, 2013, 3:56 am

    Mother Nature is always ahead of us and i like it as it is.. she teaches us humility..

  21. sohail
    qatar
    December 23, 2013, 3:51 am

    God’s creatures are amazing beautiful and created purposely.
    sometimes we need centuries to find that purpose.

  22. Kim
    Jamaica
    December 23, 2013, 2:12 am

    Beautiful creatures, I just love nature and it’s varied creation.

  23. wilson smith agonias
    philippines
    December 23, 2013, 2:06 am

    thank you for posting this interesting pictures. Another things that we really preserve nature because this creatures have their part to our nature that really important that we need to live with.^_____^

  24. nika
    December 23, 2013, 1:58 am

    Wow mother monster is as creative as mother nature!

  25. Andre Hartzenberg
    Pretoria , South Africa
    December 23, 2013, 1:36 am

    From the lyrics of the popular Christian hymn: “It is no secret, what God can do…”

  26. shohreh arkian
    iran
    December 22, 2013, 10:43 pm

    hi dear Liz Langley
    i just love animals not lady gaga i came here because of the unique shape of Globe-Bearing Treehopper.
    any way thnx 4 info.

  27. Robert
    New Mexico
    December 22, 2013, 10:26 pm

    @Liz Langley: you’re a brainy babe!

  28. Roman
    Jacksonville, florida
    December 22, 2013, 10:19 pm

    Nehemiah 9:6 (American Standard Version)
    Thou art Jehovah, even thou alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things that are thereon, the seas and all that is in them, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

  29. Karen Sherry Brackett
    Tennessee
    December 22, 2013, 9:37 pm

    How could anyone with a serious mind for science and armed with a logical approach for the collection of empirical evidence ever doubt that there is a God? For over two decades I have yet to reach the point of saying… I have seen it all. What is even more humbling and mind boggling is the realization that I can not even make one of these insects nor even one spare part of their tiny little bodies and then I look at the stars and drop to my knees in amazement at just the unfathomably comprehensive of the possibilities out there in the universe and just how truly great God IS… and I thank Him all the more for each little glimpse of His majestic artistry and for the small thread I play in His tapestry of Life.

  30. MARIA E CARRILLO
    MARI1212
    December 22, 2013, 8:05 pm

    ME ENCANTA

  31. Natasha Demjanovskis
    Tasmania
    December 21, 2013, 10:02 pm

    Wow! Mother Nature and her critters can sure outdo us
    humans every time

  32. Waew
    Lop Buri, Thailand
    December 21, 2013, 5:06 pm

    There are unseen in the world.

  33. Liz Langley
    December 21, 2013, 1:06 pm

    I’m so happy so many people are enjoying this!!

    @Nudibranchslove Me, too! I hope you got to look at the photo gallery – am always blown away by how different and exotic they all look! :)

  34. David Rodríguez
    Honduras
    December 21, 2013, 3:17 am

    Lol, love this article. Love animals and love Gaga.

  35. Corey Larsen
    December 20, 2013, 7:06 pm

    These have nothing to do with Gaga, but they all have one thing in common. They all taste like chicken.

  36. Paul duke
    December 20, 2013, 4:38 pm

    And you thought we had to leave Earth to find aliens. it’s amazing how life forms adapt to the enviroment. Is there a secret to creation that we don’t know about?
    You bet there is, maybe someday we’ll understand how little we know. In the meantime let’s just marvel at the new wonders and appreciate them.

  37. bernad
    sandton
    December 20, 2013, 4:18 pm

    I like lady gaga

  38. Nudibranchslove
    December 20, 2013, 4:11 pm

    I’m so happy that you posted about nudibranchs!!! They’re my absolute favorite marine invertebrates.

  39. Liz Langley
    December 20, 2013, 12:19 pm

    @guyinsf It’s actually meant as high praise – I love seeing what Lady Gaga will wear next and admire the creativity of her costuming. When I found some of these animals – that striking psychedelic frogfish in particular – I thought “Wow! What in regular life could ever look like that?” and Gaga came to mind as someone who could pull off a look inspired by something that dazzling. I mean, who else wears a flying dress?! So the comparison was meant as a compliment. :)

  40. Steph
    December 20, 2013, 2:26 am

    Holy cow!
    Even though I don’t like Lady Gaga,those creatures are incredible!

  41. Happy Gilmore
    Provo, UT
    December 20, 2013, 2:05 am

    Those poor animals….

  42. Bethy
    New Rochelle, NY
    December 19, 2013, 10:48 pm

    Great article, very interesting. Nothing is more interesting or at times more strange than mother nature, even Lady Gaga (less cool than nature).

  43. Ellen Villar
    Cebu, Philippines
    December 19, 2013, 9:37 pm

    All glory to THE Great Designer who made them all!!

  44. mary
    nigeria
    December 19, 2013, 9:31 pm

    it is so true

  45. cesarxstyle
    December 19, 2013, 9:11 pm

    nice !!! I love gaga

  46. guyinsf
    December 19, 2013, 8:56 pm

    This is kind of mean isn’t it NG? How would Liz Langley like it if she was compared to a bunch of critters?

  47. jake
    December 19, 2013, 6:27 pm

    That is awesome!~

  48. Liz Langley
    December 19, 2013, 6:03 pm

    @Arachnoid89
    I agree! And amazing to watch (there are some video links in the piece). :)

  49. ashley
    December 19, 2013, 6:01 pm

    I really love lady gaga and I don’t think any of those look like her… they r so cute but they look nothing like her at all….

  50. Andy B
    Boston
    December 19, 2013, 5:59 pm

    Haha! This is a great way to make fun of her.

  51. Arachnoid89
    December 19, 2013, 5:36 pm

    I didn’t know if I was going to hate this or love this, beautiful creatures!