Blurring the line between pets and plants, Dean Sauer and Andy Bass of Yonder Biology in San Diego have come up with the Dino Pet: a living, bioluminescent night light/pet. This little dinosaur-shaped food grade plastic toy is filled with tiny creatures called Dinoflagellates, saltwater, and nutrients. When the toy is set in light (sunlight, another lamp in the room), it absorbs the light. Then when you shake up the water, the sea creatures release the stored light.
This invention complicates the whole pet/plant paradigm. You have to feed the Dinoflagellates to keep them alive, so it’s like a pet. Yet it’s a sea plant. I guess it’s kind of like a fish, in that it lives in salt water and needs nutrients to survive. But yet it also is like a plant in that it uses photosynthesis to create light. So it’s a pet that creates light. How cool is that? Yes, this would be a fun biology project for kids, but geeky adults (and those who want to try out the latest renewable green lighting technology) will like it as well. It’s a pet you care for, and it gives you spectacular light in return. For more information, check out this gizmag article.
Learn more about the Dino Pet kickstarter program here.