Last Wednesday, my friend Tett asked me to tell him three things about Sea Monkeys. I could not offer any solid facts, so I hunkered down for some research time. I won’t be caught off-guard the next time that somebody asks me about Sea Monkeys. Here are a few tidbits for you:
1) Sea Monkeys are actually brine shrimp. More specifically, they are Artemia salina x nyos, an interspecific hybrid between salina and an indeterminate species of Artemia, created by New York Science Laboratories (hence the nyos).
2) Sea Monkeys are shipped in their cryptobiotic state (like hibernation, inside an egg-like cyst), which gives them a long shelf-life as long as they are kept dry.
3) When added to saltwater, the brine shrimp hatch from their cysts.
4) Sea Monkeys grow to between ½” and ¾” long, which is larger than most brine shrimp.
5) Sea Monkeys were first marketed in 1957 by Harold von Braunhut, and were given their current name in 1962.
6) Sea Monkeys are packaged in boxes which are covered with illustrations of human-like creatures that wear clothes and play games. Sea Monkeys don’t actually wear clothes or play games. They just float about and eat algae.
7) Harold von Braunhut also created and marketed other products, including X-Ray Specs and Invisible Goldfish (which were guaranteed to remain invisible forever).
8) Harold von Braunhut was a known supporter of the Aryan Nations, and even purchased weapons for an Ohio branch of the Ku Klux Klan. Oh yeah, and van Braunhut was born a Jew.
To summarize, if you purchased Incredible Sea-Monkeys at any time before the mid-90’s, you were indirectly supporting hate-groups, and all you got out of it was a jar full of crappy little brine shrimp.
Vaya con Dios, amigos.