National Sea Monkey Day is observed each year on May 16. Most of us have memories of waiting for our mail order shipment of these magical creatures. The delivery usually contained the small “aquarium-like” hatching kit for them to live and grow in.
- Sea Monkeys are a type of “Artemia” (brine shrimp). They got their name because of their monkey-tail look.
- Following the popularity of the ant farms, Harold von Braunhut invented the “Sea Monkeys” and hatching kits in 1957. He did most of his advertising through comic books. He once said, “I think I bought something like 3.2 million pages of comic book advertising a year. It worked beautifully.”
- These little crustaceans have made their appearances on television shows including Spin City, Roseanne, Night Court, South Park, The Simpsons, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and Desperate Housewives.
- Sea Monkeys went into space with astronaut John Glenn on October 29, 1998, aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. They returned to Earth after spending nine days in space and the eggs hatched eight weeks later, apparently unaffected by their travels.
- So why sea monkeys? Because who was going to buy brine-shrimp? It was all a good bit of marketing, though the name didn’t come about for nearly 5 years. They were originally called “instant life”, referencing their ‘just add water’ nature. But when the resemblance of their tails to monkeys tails was noted by fans, he changed it to ‘Sea-Monkeys’ and so it’s been ever since! The marketing was amazing too! 3.2 million pages of comic book advertising a year, and the money just flowed in the door.
- Sea monkeys are born with only one eye, but develop two more (for a total of 3!) as they grow.
- Sea monkeys can live up to 2 years with proper care.
- When sea monkeys are born, they are so tiny it’s very difficult to see them. In about a month’s time, they grow to about a half inch in length and will begin mating to make more baby sea monkeys!
- Sea monkeys breathe through their feet.
- When sea monkeys need more oxygen, they will swim upside down.
- Sea monkeys are loving little creatures who kiss and cuddle to show affection for one another.
- The “special ingredient” that is added to the sea monkey’s water is actually sea salt. Sea monkeys have to live in salt water to survive.
- You can tell a sea monkey is properly fed when you see its belly turns black after eating.