In certain parts of the world, the sea comes alive at night. As you look out through the gloom, the waves seem to glow. You would be forgiven for thinking that a terrible radioactive spillage has occurred. In fact, this purely natural phenomenon is all down to a type of marine plankton, called dinoflagellates.
Powered by sunlight, water and movement, these tiny bioluminescent creatures put on quite a show. With Dino Pet and Dino Sphere, you get to experience the glow every night in the palm of your hand. These see-through aquariums allow you to keep your own plankton and share the wonder with your friends. Right now, you can save up to 28 percent on the Dino range via the Popular Science Shop.
Back in the day, Sea Monkeys were the only aquatic craze in town. As kids, many of us raised these strange little creatures, genuinely believing they might have come from outer space. Little did we realize that we were cultivating small colonies of brine shrimp.
It took some effort to raise this underwater family, but the rewards were immense. The shrimp were pleasing to watch, and the whole experience provided a taste of marine life.
The single-cell plankton inside each Dino Pet are much smaller than shrimp. The very biggest individuals measure around 1 mm long. They are native to warm coastal waters, from South America to Australia. Rather than devouring “Growth Food”, they soak up energy from the sun through photosynthesis. You can think of them as halfway between plant and animal.
This particular species, Pyrocystis fusiformis, is known for its bioluminescence. No-one knows why the cells glow, but the show is stunning. In the open ocean, they light up in response to the physical motion of the waves.
The Dino Pet (was $69.99, now $49.99) puts the plankton inside a small dinosaur-shaped aquarium. This interactive friend allows you to experience the glow every night. Unlike a Furby, this critter doesn’t need batteries. Neither will it demand your attention and spout annoying nonsense throughout each day.
In fact, the Dino Pet needs very little input. You simply open the stopper, and pour in your dinoflagellates along with some nutrients. After a couple of days, your new shoal of plankton will be ready to start performing.
To see the light show, you simply pick up your Pet and swirl the water inside. In the open ocean, these plankton would flash with every wave—so you won’t be wearing them out.
While the Dino Pet is great for family time, you may prefer something more grown up. The Dino Sphere (was $69.99, now $49.99) offers a different take on the same natural phenomenon. This hand-blown glass orb displays your dinoflagellates in the most elegant way possible.
As with the Pet, you only need to provide nutrients and daylight to keep your plankton happy inside the Sphere. Measuring four inches in diameter, it’s perfect for keeping on your desk or passing between friends. What’s more, the spherical shape makes the light show even more spectacular.
Not everyone has the energy to walk a dog or feed a cat. The nice thing about Dinos is that they need very little input. Both the Pet and Sphere come with everything you need for starting your colony. Aside from weekly feeding, your sole responsibility is to give your plankton some daylight.
For a limited time, you can use code BYESUMMER for an additional 15 percent off this great deal and more. Shop our summer blowout sale here. (Thru September 4th.)