THE WONDER FUL MAGIC TO TELL THE FORTUNE!
August 27, 2019 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Unseal the infinite majesty of the Fortune Teller Fish, aka everyone's favorite novelty use of sodium polyacrylate. Can it really read your mind? Science says: absolutely not! This little miracle fish may have been around since the 1800s--it's definitely been spotted since 1900 as a free giveaway with your purchase of (what else?) baking powder--and has made appearances all over the world. So: are you passionate, jealous, indifferent, or a dead one?
posted by capricorn (9 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
(This is 2/3 of a postyouranimal because it involves fish and divination! Still on the lookout for some quality goat content. (Personally, I have very dry skin and have always been deemed a Dead One.))
posted by capricorn at 7:03 PM on August 27 [4 favorites]


Neat! We've been to the Mermaid Inn in NYC, and these come with the bill there. I was always kind of curious about what they were made of.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:38 PM on August 27 [2 favorites]


I have been fascinated by these since I was a child. I have hidden a few around the house just...cause they're cool.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 10:28 PM on August 27 [2 favorites]


Huh! These are something I haven't thought about since I was a kid. I always assumed they reacted to heat, but never tried experimenting with it. Fascinating. Great post!
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:33 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


I always assumed "dead one" meant the fish was dead (i.e. you got a dud.) The idea of the little paper fish being alive and sometimes tragically dying in transit seems more magic than trying to interpret the fish's response as "dead one."
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:09 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


I found an arcade a few years ago that had these as a prize. I exchanged tickets for like 20 of them and gave some to friends and hoarded some. I love them so much!

An artist made a cut acrylic pendant of the Fortune-Telling Fish, but I didn't act in time. This is similar but less detailed.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:16 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


I have never seen theses. Where can I get one in Toronto?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:47 PM on August 28


"The Mermaid Inn in New York City is known for it's free chocolate pudding served with a complimentary Fortune Teller Miracle Fish." (from the "been around since 1800" link)

So neat!
posted by jessamyn at 8:48 PM on August 28


I always assumed "dead one" meant the fish was dead (i.e. you got a dud.) The idea of the little paper fish being alive and sometimes tragically dying in transit seems more magic than trying to interpret the fish's response as "dead one."

Oh, I never thought of that, but it makes so much sense! *pours one out for our lost comrades*
posted by capricorn at 11:00 AM on August 29 [2 favorites]


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