Bowiebranchia is a Tumblr account that compares pictures of Nudibranchia and other Opisthobranchia to David Bowie. And I know, at first, such a blog sounds a little random. After all, what do they have in common? However, once you start actually looking at the images, the answer becomes obvious. Their appearances.
At times, the similarities work to such an uncanny degree, it’s hard not to imagine that Bowie was actually bitten by a radioactive sea slug and developed a superhuman shapeshifting ability, allowing him to summon all of its colorful and imaginative looks. Continue scrolling and see for yourself!
Interestingly, these sea slugs carry showy exteriors on purpose. They burst with colors to scare predators away, informing them that their slimy innards may be toxic or simply yucky. According to evolutionary biologist Anne Winters, Bowiebranchia exposes what we can learn about the wild, beautiful and competitive evolution of both Bowie and the slugs.
“They’re both trying to stand out,” Winters told PBS NewsHour. “He’s trying to make a statement and get recognized for his individuality and his music, and nudibranchs are trying to get recognized too.”
Tracy Dendy, a New York-based UX designer who is the brain behind Bowiebranchia, said everything began when she started using images of sea slugs as placeholders when designing new projects. “I had a coworker named Curt who would receive my designs to develop, and he said it reminded him of some photos of David Bowie,” Tracy told Bored Panda. “I started to explore the connection from there and I could not stop finding exact matches for each of the Bowie outfits.”
“It was too cool to pass up so I started to collect them and made a tumblr from there,” the designer added. “My boyfriend came up with the name Bowiebranchia and it was hobby of mine for awhile before it got so popular. Monterey Bay Aquarium reblogged one of my posts and I think that was when it started to spread.”
Tracy really enjoys working on the project. And not just because it has gotten so big. “Researching David Bowie has been really inspirational,” she said. “I always had an interest in fashion design and I love that he was so connected to the artists who made his clothes.”
According to VOGUE, Bowie changed his style more dramatically than any other musician in history. His transformations even inspired seismic cultural shifts, transforming the definition of what it meant to be a a rock star. For Bowie, clothes were a way of self-expression, a powerful tool in communicating individuality at its most extreme, glittering, and creative.
But Tracy said nudi are the frontmen and frontwomen (all of them are hermaphrodites; they have male and female sexual abilities) of the blog. “Those little things are some of the coolest creations of our planet.””I also want to mention that I am adding the nudi photographer’s credits to as many posts as I can – they really are the magic people who find these teeny-tiny creatures on reefs and take these amazing macro photos.”Tracy hopes all this “encourages more people to be curious about science and biology and appreciate the magnificence of the ocean and how we can all help to take care of it together.”