Living Ink literally brings your drawings to life before your eyes.


Invisible ink is usually the weapon of secret agents, but Living Ink is about to inject some fun into covert doodles with its unique ability to blossom into algae.

The ink, developed by PhD students in Colorado, contains chlorophyl that means it can harvest energy from the sun and reflect green light, like leaves on a tree. It disappears a few minutes after it hits the paper, but with a couple of days inside its special greenhouse, it blossoms into fuzzy green algae to form your secret design.

It’s actually a lot more clever and complex than we make it sound. The living ink team discovered they could make their ink turn green because of a process called binary fission.
In normal people speak, this means that when Living Ink feeds on sunlight and CO2, its cells divide at an exponential rate, meaning microscopic cells that are invisible to the human eye actually become so dense that we can see them. That’s some cool science.

Because Living Ink’s only byproducts are oxygen and clean water, it’s actually really good for environment too, which is always a lovely bonus – especially if you’re planning to give your magic eco drawings as a gift to a friend.

You can buy a Living Ink kit for $56 (£39). It includes 2 Living Inks (one grows fast, the other slow), an instruction guide, 5 sheets of paper, and a greenhouse to cultivate your algae art.