What is a Sea Monkey?
A Sea Monkey is a tiny brine shrimp celebrated during National Sea Monkey Day. It belongs to the Artemia species and got the name because it has a monkey-tail look.
Harold von Braunhut is the brain behind the invention of Sea Monkeys.
How much do you know about Sea Monkeys and National Sea Monkey Day? Let’s explore more about them.
What is National Sea Monkey Day All About?
When is the National Sea Monkey Day? This day falls on 16th May every year. It is a day that children and adults celebrate Sea Monkeys. During this day, people engage in different activities, including teaching kids how to care for Sea Monkeys and sharing experiences about them.
The Origins of National Sea Monkey Day
How did National Sea Monkey Day become an unofficial holiday? It all started when Harold visited a pet store in 1957. During the visit, a brine shrimp, Artemia Salina, caught his eye. By then, this shrimp was on sale as pet food.
What was so interesting about Artemia Salina? Harold realized that Artemia Salina could stay in a suspended animation state called cryptobiosis. During this state, a living organism shuts off its metabolic processes whenever it lacks water. The natural name of this state is Carbonite freezing.
Harold also realized that the Artemia Salina’s protective casing helps them survive when the water dries up. If you dip them in water, their casings hatch and reveal a translucent creature.
After his findings, he partnered with Dr. Anthony D’Agostino to create the Sea Monkey.
The duo created a mix of nutrients and dried chemicals and mixed them with plain water. This mixture created an ideal environment that could support the growth of shrimps. Also, they made a unique mini aquarium that supported their hatching, living, and growth.
Afterward, Harold sold them under the “Instant Life” brand, selling for around $0.49. In 1962, he named them “Sea Monkeys,” given their monkey-tail-like shape, which made them look different from shrimps. Also, the name denotes the salty-water habitat that supports their life.
Sea Monkeys became very popular in the 1960s. Harold sought to capture children’s imagination by selling the creatures using the tagline a “bowl of happiness.” He was confident that by sending dehydrated Sea Monkey eggs via mail and letting children bring them to life using his secret formula, children got amused.
His dream’s fuel was that children used to play with Hobo Mutt, a one-eyed dog, and Freddie Fireplug. So, he knew that given that Sea Monkeys have one eye immediately after hatching, they would equate to Hobo Mutt and get a similar appreciation from children.
In 1972, Harold acquired patent rights for the production of Sea Monkeys. Over time, the popularity of these creatures continued to grow. They have even carved their name in pop culture and got featured in various television shows.
How to Observe This Unofficial Holiday
Watching Sea Monkeys in your aquarium is not enough. Their magical and beautiful appearance warrants a celebration. So, every National Sea Monkey Day, you can post your experiences with them on your favorite social media platform using the tag #NationalSeaMonkeyDay.
Also, you can take photos of these tiny, wonderful creatures and post them on social media during this unofficial holiday.
Create Awareness About Pet Care
If you want to teach your children how to care for pets easily, let them care for Sea Monkeys. These creatures are easy to manage. So, showing children how to care for them does not require much. Instead, it cultivates a pet-caring and responsible nature in children.
Acquire Sea Monkeys
Have you been yearning for a low-maintenance pet? Sea Monkeys are an ideal option for you. So, on National Sea Monkey Day, visit a pet shop that sells these magical creatures, buy their eggs, and watch them grow.
Do they come as eggs or hatched younglings? Often, people buy the freeze-dried eggs of the Sea Monkeys and hatch them at home. The eggs usually come in a package of three pouches and instructions.
Notably, you can also buy Sea Monkeys that have undergone anhydrobiosis (losing almost all water and attaining a reversible ametabolism state) or hibernation after drying them out. After the addition of water together with Harold’s formula, these creatures bounce back to life.
Reasons to Love National Sea Monkey Day
If you are wondering why you should love and celebrate National Sea Monkey Day, the following are some of the reasons:
They are Low Maintenance Pets
Sea Monkeys require basic care only. Also, they feed only once a week. For these reasons, they make great pets worth a celebration.
They are not Natural
Sea Monkeys are artificial living things. They result from a scientific process bred from brine shrimps. So, they belong to the Artemia NYOS species, a name after the New York Ocean Society, where the development of these creatures took place.
Why are These Creatures Famous?
After inventing Sea Monkeys, Harold advertised them via comic books. During a past interview, he claimed to have bought around 3.2 million pages of comic books every year to promote the little crustaceans. He also asserted that his advertising campaign was successful.
Sea Monkeys also featured in several television shows. Some of the shows that featured them are Spin City, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Roseanne, South Park, Night Court, The Simpsons, and Desperate Housewives.
The popularity of Sea Monkeys also grew when John Glen, an astronaut, carried their eggs aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on his trip to space on 29th October 1998. He returned with them to the earth after nine days. Afterward, the eggs hatched after eight weeks. This outcome depicted that the trip to space did not affect them.
Interesting Sea Monkey Facts
Sea Monkeys’ Anatomy
Sea Monkeys hatch while having one eye. However, this eye becomes three eyes as they grow. Also, these crustaceans breathe using their feet, and their males have a chin with little whiskers. Lastly, their females can self-fertilize their eggs.
Sea Monkeys are Fond of Light
Sea Monkeys always swim toward light. To test this fact, shine a flashlight toward their aquarium. You will see them coming towards the light.
Sea Monkeys’ Diet
Sea Monkeys’ diet consists of algae. So, it is not advisable to clean their aquarium often unless it becomes extremely dirty.
Sea Monkeys’ Nature
Sea Monkeys can kiss and cuddle. It is their way of showing affection towards each other.
The Role of Sea Monkeys in Some Television Shows and Movies
The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys
The show dubbed The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys aired in 1992. It featured 11 episodes before its cancellation.
Three Sea Monkeys participated in the show: Bill, Dave, and Aquarius. Additionally, it featured their creator, The Professor, together with Gilbert Gottfried, Stephen Furst, Larry Melman, and Vernon Wells.
The show was about a crazy professor who accidentally enlarged three microscopic Sea Monkeys to human size. Later, the Sea Monkeys engaged in various comical ineptness in their lives.
What are some of the traits that the three Sea Monkeys portrayed during the show? Aquarius always found it challenging to keep a secret. About Bill, he was always afraid of a Pennsylvanian imperial man, Dereck Allen. Lastly, Dave always got excited whenever polka music played.
Frankenweenie is a 2012 animated movie. These creatures play the role of antagonistic monsters, voiced by Frank Welker.
After being reanimated, the Sea Monkeys chase after Bob. Later, they appear from a sewer and the toilet booth in the house that Mayor Burgermeister had taken over. Also, these creatures chase the town folk during the Dutch Day Carnival.
While Victor and Bob watched, one Sea Monkey ate salt popcorn and exploded. Later, these creatures get tricked into eating salt popcorn. In return, they all exploded and died.
How to Raise Sea Monkeys
To start a colony of Sea Monkeys, follow this procedure:
- Add the pouch labeled “Water Purifier” to the mini aquarium with 12 fluid ounces (354.9 milliliters) of water. The water should be between 75 to 81 °F (24 to 27 °C). What does the Water Purifier pouch contain? It contains water conditioner, salt, and some brine shrimp eggs. Also, do you use tap water or distilled water? It is advisable to use distilled water. However, spring or tap water is also applicable. Remember, keep the aquarium away from excess heat, cold, and sunlight for the next 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, add the pouch labeled “Instant Life Eggs” to the water and stir. This pouch contains more shrimp eggs, some food, yeast, soda, salt, borax, and sometimes dye.
- After one minute, the Sea Monkeys hatch. Notably, they originate from the eggs in the pouch labeled “Water Purifier.” If you shine a light on the aquarium, you can see specks swimming. Also, more Sea Monkeys keep manifesting as time goes on.
- Where should you keep your aquarium? Please keep it in a shaded area. However, the area should not be dark. Additionally, it should be away from direct sunlight.
- Add the “Growth Food” pouch after five days. This pouch contains Spirulina (biomass of the blue-green algae) and yeast. Also, it comes with a feeding spoon. So, how many feeding spoons should you apply? Always feed your Sea Monkeys one level scoop of Growth Food. Lastly, do not stir after adding the food to the water. Notably, the spoon has two ends, one with a small scoop and the other with a large scoop. So, use the smaller scoop to feed baby Sea Monkeys. When they mature ( after 10 weeks), feed them using the large spoon.
- Aerate the aquarium daily in the first seven days of setting it up. This move provides baby Sea Monkeys with the oxygen necessary for their growth until they can swim to the water’s surface. Notably, using a water pump is the safest way of aerating your Sea Monkey aquarium. You only need to give the water 10 to 15 pumps of air daily. If you do not have an air pump, aerate the aquarium using the conventional method. This method calls for you to pour water from the aquarium into a container back and forth at least ten times.
- If the water level inside the tank drops beyond 1.5 inches (3.81 centimeters), it is time to add more water. So, add water until 0.5 inches (1.27 centimeters) to the top of the aquarium.
Frequently Asked Questions on Sea Monkeys
How Often Do You Feed Sea Monkeys?
You should feed your Sea Monkeys once after every five days (that is on the fifth day). If you overfeed them, they die. How do you know that you are overfeeding them? If the water becomes cloudy, it is a sign you are overfeeding. So, please wait until the water becomes clear to feed them again.
What is the Lifespan of a Sea Monkey?
Sea Monkeys live up to two years. However, reproducing them enables you to have them around for a long time.
Can You Keep Sea Monkeys in a Fish Tank?
You should never keep Sea Monkeys together with fish because fish can eat them. However, you can use a fish tank to keep your Sea Monkeys in as a standalone species because they can survive in any standard container. Read our article and find out The Top 10 Low Maintenance Pets to Own.
What should you do if your Sea Monkeys do not hatch? Notably, do not throw out the water if they do not hatch. Instead, check out the following questions and answers to find out the problem:
Did I Have a Close Look?
Failure to see the Sea Monkey younglings is a common reason for thinking their eggs did not hatch. When born, these creatures are the size of a white dot. Also, only a few hatch first, and they can hide behind particles in the water. So, use light and carefully search the aquarium to see tiny moving white specks.
Did I Wait for 24 Hours Before Adding the Second Pouch?
If you do not wait 24 to 36 hours before adding the second pouch, your Sea Monkeys will not hatch on time. The waiting time allows water to get cured of toxic elements. Also, it facilitates the preparation of the instant reactor catalyst that enables the Sea Monkey eggs to hatch after coming into contact with water.
If you add the second pouch too soon, wait one day for the Sea Monkeys to hatch. On the second day, they will be alive and visible.
Did I Add the First and Second Pouch Together?
If yes, the Sea Monkeys cannot hatch instantly. However, your attempt to produce them does not get ruined. All you need to do is to set the aquarium aside for two days. On the third day, your Sea Monkeys will hatch.
Did I Use the Correct Amount of water?
You must use 12 fluid ounces (354.9 milliliters) of water. If the water is less, just add some more. What if you added excess water? Just allow the water to evaporate. Importantly, do not drain off excess water. Remember, too much water dilutes the Sea Monkey formula while less water condenses it.
Is the Room Temperature Correct?
Sea Monkey eggs hatch in water with a temperature between 75 to 81 °F (24 to 27 °C). Remember, incorrect room temperature causes a delay in the hatching of the eggs.
In conclusion, Sea Monkeys are magical pets. They are easy to manage because they only eat once every five days. Bringing them to life is also easy.
So, how about ordering the Sea Monkey eggs to raise pets you and your children will adore for a long time?
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