Everyone is familiar with Sea-Monkeys: just by pouring the contents of an “instant life” packet in purified water, you can witness the miracle of life as a colony of Sea-Monkeys hatch right before your eyes.
While Sea-Monkeys have been around for years, a more recent novelty insta-life product called Magic Fish has been recently gaining popularity in Taiwan.
The Magic Fish instant fish kit contains a glass tank, a plastic cup and some tools, and packet of soil, salt and shrimp eggs. Pour the soil in the plastic cup, pour water over it and in anywhere from 15 minutes to a day, you will be the proud parent of your very own magic fish!
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Real fish born from soil!? It really is magic!
I hate to disappoint you, but it turns out that the only magic at work here is the magic of Mother Nature. Magic fish are actually a species of killifish, a fresh-water fish found throughout the world. It turns out that killifish lay their eggs in the mud and these eggs can survive periods of dehydration for up to 3 months – allowing them to be packaged up and sold under the ruse of magical aquatic creature.
Not only that, but the packet of “shrimp eggs” included in the kit are used as food for the killifish and are none other than the progenitors of instant life – Sea-Monkeys!
Magic Fish are available on Chinese internet shopping site Taobao for 58 yuan (US $9).
A similar English version of the product is listed on Amazon, but is currently unavailable for purchase.
Taking a look at customer reviews, it appears that not all of the eggs are guaranteed to hatch, nor are all the fish guaranteed to make it to adulthood. Though the product description boasts that “Magic Fish is an incredible new product that is truly amazing,” reviews like “disappoint and expensive” suggest that, at least in the US, Magic fish sank rather than swam.