Are Sea Monkeys Real? Discovering the Truth About These Water Pets
Most people are familiar with the typical household pets, whether dogs, cats, or birds. But in 1957, one novelty pet took the world by storm in a way no one could have predicted – the tiny yet compelling sea monkey. Marketed with fantastical promises of eggs hatching instantly in the water, sea monkeys have captured children’s imaginations with their otherworldly arrival. But what are sea monkeys, after all? And how did these unique aquatic crustaceans come to be? Let us take a look!
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Harold von Braunhunt Is the Man Who Created Them
In 1957, Harold von Braunhut was walking through a pet store when he saw brine shrimp used as fish food. This gave him an idea. Harold thought these overlooked creatures could be marketed as instant pets that could teach children about unusual sea life.
He began experimenting at home to find a way to preserve and revive the brine shrimp. In 1960, he introduced his creation to the world as “Instant Life,” which is the hybrid breed of brine shrimp called Artemia NYOS. The idea was that children could witness the magic of these creatures coming to life instantly.
However, it wasn’t until a few years later, in 1962, Harold came up with the now iconic name “Sea Monkeys.” He noticed that the brine shrimp had little tails that looked just like those of monkeys. So he thought calling them cute little “Sea Monkeys” would be a catchy name that would lure children.
Harold started marketing them as “Sea Monkeys” in 1964. This new name helped make the brine shrimp pets extremely popular for many years, as children were delighted by the idea of these little pets living in their tanks.
Sea-Monkeys advertisement from 1971. pic.twitter.com/BWP661Ry7r
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The aquatic crustaceans also gained popularity through comic book advertisements. Artists like Ben Harvey and DC Comics’ Joe Orlando visualized them as magical beings with fish-like bodies, crown-like heads, and cute monkey-like features.
Artemia NYOS, A.K.A “Sea Monkeys,” Cannot Be Found in Nature
Like many animals, Sea Monkeys can mate and create new life. But even if there’s no mate around, some female counterparts can actually have babies through a process called “parthenogenesis” (self-conception.) The tiny creatures are born with one eye, grow two more as they mature, and are transparent. Even their respiratory system is unique as they breathe with the help of their feathery feet.
Despite the success, there was a challenge. The little pets didn’t live very long. To address issues of these little creatures’ longevity, Harold worked with a marine biologist named Anthony D’Agostino. Together, they used a process called “superhomeogenation” to create “super” Sea Monkeys. There were two refinements in this process in 1970 and again in 1995. These refinements resulted in bigger and hardier Sea Monkeys with a lifespan of up to two years.
You Can Easily Raise Sea Monkeys at Home with just a few Simple Steps
Sea Monkeys need certain water conditions to thrive. Therefore, the vendors sell a starter formula that prepares the water and establishes a healthy underwater environment for the tiny animals. This one-time packet, called the “water purifier,” cleans up the water so these aquatic crustaceans have nothing toxic to stress their delicate systems. The second packet is where these instant pets come to life! The packet is filled with crystals that dissolve into egg shapes once they dissolve. The eggs will then hatch within moments to reveal the newly born, instant pet inside.
The little creatures require feeding just like any other pet. So, an additional nutrition packet is also included to sustain them properly. Following guidance on adjusting their diet as they grow is important. Water levels, temperature, lighting, and algae also impact their growth. You can successfully nurture these aquatic crustaceans, provided you take good care of their home environment through water quality, feeding, and habitat support.
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