Quick Facts

Every May 16th
Tagged as
  1. Animals
  2. Fish

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If you were a comic book fan as a kid, or a science buff, you may remember these ads existing in your favorite magazine or catalog. They were heavily marketed in the same pages as X-Ray Goggles, Magic Tricks, and chemistry sets. They advertised the most unlikely of pets, monkeys that lived in salt water that you could easily have for your own. They’d be sent to you freeze-dried, and then burst into life when added to water. What you may not know is that Sea-Monkeys exploded into an amazing fortune that were loved by people everywhere.

History of Sea Monkey Day

The history of sea monkeys starts, oddly enough, with ant farms. Milton Levine had popularized the idea of Ant-farm kits in 1956 and, presumably inspired by the success of his idea, Harold von Braunhut invented the aquatic equivalent with brine-shrimp. It was really ingenious looking back on it, and ultimately he had to work with a marine biologist to really bring it all together. With just a small packet of minerals and an aquarium you’d suddenly have a place rich with everything your brine-shrimp needed to survive.

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.

So what are Sea Monkeys exactly? They’re clever mad science really. Sea Monkeys don’t (or didn’t) exist in nature before they were created in a lab by hybridization. They’re known as Artemia NYOS (New York Ocean Science) and go through anhydrobiosis, or hibernation when they are dried out. Then, with the right mixture of water and nutrients they can spring right back into life! Amazing!

How to celebrate Sea Monkey Day

Sea Monkey day can best be celebrated by buying yourself a set of these amazing animals and experiencing the wonder for yourself! These little guys have orbited the earth and even gone to the moon, telling us a lot about how life survives in space. So have your own amazing Sea-Monkey kit by buying some today!