BioPops are the sea monkeys of the 21st century

Back in the 70’s when I was a young Gadgeteer in training, I remember seeing ads for Sea-Monkeys in the back of comic books that I used to read. I was fascinated by the pictures which showed them as a human-like underwater family that would live and play in a fishbowl. I saved my allowance and ordered my own Sea-Monkey kit and waited for what seemed like years for it to arrive. 

I was so excited when I received it, but my hopes were dashed when days later, the human-like family that I expected turned out to be more like tiny furry tadpoles. That was my first lesson in false advertising and I don’t think I ever truly recovered from the disappointment. 😉

Maybe a BioPop can cure that age old scar… What’s a BioPop? It’s a small aquarium with bioluminescent marine algae called dinoflagellates (dinos for short) that glow when they are shaken gently.

The algae are grown in California and live on 8-14 hours of sunlight a day, water, and nutrients from the enriched seawater inside the small aquarium. You also have to feed them once a week with a special food to increase their lifespan.

During the day the algae look clear, but at night when the aquarium is agitated, they will glow to create a mesmerizing light.

BioPops are available in a plastic dinosaur shaped aquarium or in glass spheres. They are priced at $59.95. You can read more about them at  and you can order from The Grommet and Amazon.

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3 comments… add one
  • John Kes July 26, 2017, 2:18 pm

    Sounds like a nice gift. Wish the food was cheaper. Seems you only get 4 feedings per little bottle.

    • Julie Strietelmeier July 26, 2017, 3:26 pm

      I’m also wondering how long they can live even with feeding them regularly. But it’s definitely a cool idea.

  • Sean Raude August 1, 2017, 11:11 am

    You can stretch the food out over time. The food is more like plant food than actual food. The algae get most of their energy from light (ie photosynthesis) .

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