Ahhh, Chia Pets. Those faux follicular terracotta…things. Sure, they were popular and a little funny, but unless your home is a retro ‘70s bungalow, there’s little chance they’ll look anything but gaudy in your place. Wouldn’t you rather a low-maintenance “pet” that looked a whole lot cooler? Meet Dino Pet, a brontosaurus-shaped plastic vessel filled with living, bioluminescent plankton. Yeah, much better.
The first big release from the firm BioPop (whose work has already been featured in the Smithsonian), Dino Pet mimics the sort of wild light-show that occurs naturally in the deep sea on the confines of your desk or shelf.
Set up? Simple. You fill the guy with the included packet of dinoflagellates (i.e., the photo-synthetic plankton swimming in water), and add some “food." Once you’ve had it sitting in indirect sunlight for a few days—careful, it shouldn’t get hotter than 75 degrees at any point—with sufficient periods of nighttime (complete darkness), it will begin to glow.
Be patient, though. Its full glow won’t show itself until it’s established a consistent sleep-wake schedule i.e., circadian rhythm. Dino Pets: they’re just like us!
Once they’re in the swing of things you can also give them a light shake to intensify the glow. Just don’t shake too hard or you’ll kill them. Dino Pets: still just like us!
Upkeep is minimal compared to real-deal pets like a dog or cat; just give him the light and dark he craves, and you're golden. However, every four to six weeks, you'll need to add some more food to keep things going smoothly. Most importantly, though, is giving him love, and a great name.