Chia Pet

From Academic Kids

Chia Pets are a brand of collectible animal figurines manufactured and originated by the San Francisco, California based company Joseph Enterprises, Inc. Chia Pets achieved widespread popularity in the 1980s following the 1982 release of a ram, the first Chia Pet. Subsequent decline in popularity has relegated these objects to fad status. The catch-phrase related to the Chia Pet, sung in the commercial as the plant grows, is "Ch-ch-ch-chia!"

Chia Pets are grown by applying moistened chia seeds (i.e., those of Salvia columbariae, the aromatic annual from whose common name the Chia Pet's name is derived) to the clay, grooved figurine body. After three to five days consisting of filling and refilling the Chia Pet with water as well as discarding water that has accumulated in the provided drip tray, the seeds sprout, having formed a gelatinous coat that adheres to the Chia Pet's body. At this point, little effort is required to maintain the Chia Pet, whose plant counterpart grows into a verdurous covering.

Although enough S. columbariae seeds are provided with the Chia Pet for three plantings, additional seeds can be purchased for use with the Chia vessel, which is itself reclaimable. Several Chia Pet animals are currently available, including a turtle, pig, puppy, kitten, frog, and hippopotamus. Sculpted "Chia Heads" and "Licensed Chia Pets" based on popular cartoon characters can also be found.

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The words "Chia Pet" are also the first and middle name of Chia Pet McKenzie, the 14 year old heroine of William Gibson's 1996 science fiction novel Idoru.

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