Many young kids were duped into getting these. Yes, I was fooled and fooled badly… In the back of a comic, I tore out the ad and sent a dollar in an envelope for these awesome looking beings. I was going to watch them grow and live. I wanted that “Bowlful of Happiness.”
In a few weeks I got the package and I find out the ugly truth. They are not monkeys or little creatures with three antennas on their head. Sea-Monkeys are a hybrid breed of brine shrimp called Artemia NYOS invented in 1957 by Harold von Braunhut.
Von Braunhut, with the help of marine biologist and microcrustacean expert Anthony D’Agostino, figured out a way to treat tap water with a mix of nutrients (von Braunhut called them “magic crystals” and mixed them in a barn on his property) that would revive the shrimp in a tank at home.
When you buy a packet of Sea-Monkeys, they appear to be lifeless dust. Pour the dust (which is actually brine shrimp eggs) in a tank of purified water, and the Sea-Monkeys spring to life. They grow steadily over the next few weeks, feeding on a diet of yeast and spirulina.
Yes they are alive…but instead of the picture you see in the comic book…they are this
I am happy to say that my younger self-didn’t fall for the X-Ray Specs after the Sea-Monkey debacle.