Today is National Sea Monkey Day. I’m not making this up, those classic pets of childhood have their own celebration day.
In honor of this holiday, here is some history and factoids about sea monkeys:
1. Sea monkeys aren’t monkeys. According to livescience, they’re a hybrid breed of brine shrimp called Artemia NYOS.
2. The “inventor” of sea monkeys, Harold von Braunhut, held almost 200 patents, including the famous novelty X-Ray Specs sold in comic books. He passed away in 2003.
3. Legendary comic book artist Joe Orlando played a huge role in transforming sea monkeys into must-have pets. Sea monkeys were initially called “Instant-Life” and sales weren’t great, even with a 49-cent purchase price. Orlando rebranded them, and illustrated a series of “Sea Monkeys” advertisements and a successful comic book ad campaign, launched in 1964.
4. The website for all things sea monkey-related is seamonkeyworship.com. According to a 2003 USA Today article, it’s run by Susan Barclay, a Canadian woman who is referred to as “The Sea Monkey Lady.” Barclay is also the author of “The Ultimate Guide to Sea Monkeys.”
5. The name “Instant-Life” seemed appropriate for the creatures since you just add water to packet dust and you get sea monkeys. Their super power is that they can survive for long periods of time in suspended animation. They hatch when you empty the packet and get them wet.
6. Sea monkeys breathe through their feet. They can also reproduce sexually or asexually.
7. Thanks to Howie Mandel, sea monkeys once starred in a live-action TV show. “The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys” premiered on CBS in 1992 and lasted 11 episodes. “The idea came when my daughter wanted sea monkeys,” Mandel said. “All of her friends had them. And I had them as a child. I said, ‘This is great. This could be bigger than the Ninja Turtles.’ ” The premise was that a professor (played by Mandel) accidentally enlarged three sea monkeys to human size.
12. Sea monkeys aren’t a thing of the past. If you missed out when you were a kid, don’t fret. You can still buy them here.
Happy (Sea) Monkday! :_)-~-~