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Julia Child's most secret recipe: Shark repellent

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) -- She was one of the world's biggest TV stars, known for her recipes and her oddball delivery on her show The French Chef.

Long before Julia Child was a household name for her recipes, she worked on a very special recipe to create shark repellent for the U.S. Government, according to the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) website.

Back during World War II, Child started working for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which is now known as the CIA. She had just graduated college and volunteered to help the war effort.

Captain Harold J. Coolidge, Child's boss at the OSS, was one of the leaders who was asked to create a shark repellent to protect personnel and equipment that crashed in the ocean, according to CIA records.

So in 1943, the team of researchers and OSS workers tried more than 100 ingredients, including common poisons, to keep sharks away, according to the CIA.

Shark Repellent Recipe: Copper acetate Black dye

The copper acetate and black dye needed to be formed into 3-inch cakes and then placed into a metal screen case. When placed into the water, the cakes would dissolve and the black dye would be visible around the subject.

"These cakes could be stored in small 3-inch boxes with metal screens that allowed the repellent to be spread either manually or automatically when submerged in water. The box could be attached to a life jacket or belt, or strapped to a person's leg or arm, and was said to keep sharks away for 6 to 7 hours," according to the CIA documents.

Child met her husband, Paul Child, while working at the OSS, who is credited to introducing her to French cuisine and inspiring her world-famous television show.

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