Way back at the end of March 2007, a couple of MAKE interns sealed the lid on a ghost shrimp and a few snail friends on what the staff thought would be a three-hour tour. Err, I mean a 90-day biosphere odyssey.
Yesterday at 16:35:56 marked the end of the third year of our little experiment, and I’m thrilled and amazed to report that George the Ghost Shrimp lives on, happily immersed in his own ecosystem. The article we published in MAKE, Volume 10 (page 110) indicated that a ghost shrimp could live sealed in a tabletop biosphere for about three months. We think three years is much better, and has duly marked as a cause for celebration.
The water’s a little cloudier three years in, and we’ve had a couple of scares when the shrimp molted and then hid in his seashell home for a few weeks while he grew a new exoskeleton. But during his encampment he’s appeared on television as part of a how-to episode of KQED’s Quest, been shaken and turned upside down by curious (and slightly unruly) kids at an elementary school, and traveled to at least two Maker Faires.
So to the naysayers at the tropical fish store where we bought him, we say simply, “George lives on.” And to those of you reading this who are intrigued by the possibility of having your very own George and an entertaining tabletop science experiment, we say you can buy a copy of the magazine in the Maker Shed, and be on your way in no time.