Tips for a Nature-Themed Halloween Costume

Happy Halloween! The past two years I’ve embraced my profession and have decided to go with some nature-inspired Halloween costumes. Here are my tips for a successful costume:

  1. Always make your own costume. I do not sew. Using glue, tape, and garments from your daily wardrobe creatively can make can result in a pretty effective and original costume. Always make a trip to Michael’s. Homemade costumes allow you to step outside the box, which leads me to my next tip….
  2. Pick something unique. Even on Halloween, you can have effective science communication by choosing a species that people overlook or don’t even know about. This allows for a good conversation starter and a chance to talk about your species or even show photos or videos.
  3. But not too unique. If you are something really obscure, people will have no clue what you are and will not understand the effort you put into your costume. In other words, how closely you match what you are supposed to be. I try to go with something that people will at least understand part of it. For example, my costume this year was a bird of paradise (Parotia lawesii species). If people can’t figure out the species, they at least know I am a bird, in which case I can tell them what species and explain the extreme displays they’ve evolved. Check out their amazing display here.

    img_6518
    Me as a bird of paradise.
  4. Use documentaries, memes, and the Internet as inspiration. Randall’s honey badger video was a game changer. Now, most everyone knows what this previously obscure mammal is. Other animals like blobfish and goblin sharks have popped up over the years due to their bizarre looks. My halloween costume animal, became “famous” through the documentary Planet Earth by the BBC.
  5. Add sparkles. This is my own personal rule just because I love them. Scientific accuracy does not count here. Even when I was a camera trap tree last year, I added sparkles because it’s Halloween!

    12189753_10153113417495841_6927208591845153836_n
    Me as a tree with a camera trap on it. Stuffed raccoon as accessory!

Have fun this Halloween and tweet us your favorite nature-inspired costumes to @WildlifeSNPits.

Happy Halloween!

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