Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shake My Magic Dinosaur

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
Photo from BioPop
Science. Magic. Whatever. Why do we need labels? Isn’t magic just science we haven’t figured out yet? Of course, I’m writing this on a blog full of authors who write both science fiction and fantasy.

I’m sure the SF folks are giving me the stink-eye right about now.

But I’m giving it right back. I will not be swayed in my opinion. You know why? My husband gave me magic disguised as science for Christmas, and it’s the most badass thing I’ve ever seen.

Behold, the Dino Pet. You will never in your life see anything half this cool.

What I unwrapped was a box with an empty plastic dinosaur in it. It looked like a place to put loose change. Nothing fancy about it. But it also included instructions and a code to enter on the BioPop website to register my kit and tell them where to send my magical dinodudes.

Yes, that’s what I sometimes call them. Dinodudes. Little guys. Tiny buddies. They respond equally to whatever I call them. Much like Sea-Monkeys probably would.

Anyway. The company sent me what looked like a Capri Sun pouch with a nozzle, and it was all wrapped up in thermal material so my dinobabies wouldn’t freeze in the mailbox. I poured them into the plastic dinosaur, followed that up with some of the food the company sent me in a separate Capri Sun pouch, and screwed the plastic dinosaur’s bellybutton back in.

And then I waited.

What they sent me was a pouch of tiny, floaty bioluminescent dinoflagellates. They only glow at night, and the trip from California to my mailbox screwed up their circadian rhythm, so it took a few days for them to readjust.

You have to shake them to get them to glow, just like the movement of the ocean’s waves makes them glow in nature. The first night, I got a few of them to light up for a brief second. I was ecstatic! Coolest thing ever!

Each night after that, the glow got stronger. It’s been about two weeks now and they stay lit for about twenty seconds after I set them down. They fade to black, then a few late bloomers light up like tiny sparks in the darkness, one at a time, like fireflies signaling for mates.

I no longer mind getting up in the middle of the night to pee. I have friends waiting for me before I go back to bed. I am a contented, if slightly unstable woman, standing in the dark at three in the morning, smiling and shaking a plastic dinosaur filled with stars.

You can call it science if you want. But in the middle of the night, it’s a lot more like magic.

Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

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  1. I saw these online and thought it was cool! What an awesome gift.

  2. It really is awesome! Everyone should have a Dino Pet. :-)

  3. I have GOT to get that for my grandson. He'll love it.

  4. Never heard of these before. I think I need one.

  5. I think everyone should have one. They're really wonderful.


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