May 16 - Geezer's Blog - National Sea Monkey Day

posted by Dave Lehner -

The Bottom Line: Fun facts about Sea Monkeys!

The Full Story:

  • Sea-Monkeys are hybrid brine shrimp, and the brainchild of the mail-order entrepreneur Harold von Braunhut in 1957.
  • How the heck do they live? These shrimp live in salt lakes or salt flats, and when the water of a salt lake evaporates, the shrimp go into this state of suspended animation. While in this state – also known as cryptobiosis – the animals are in a protective cyst-like casing, until water is added.
  • While they do NOT look like the cutesy comic people in the ads, sea-monkeys have three eyes and breathe through their feet!
  • Sea-Monkeys are born with one eye, and pop out two more upon reaching maturity.
  • They can reproduce sexually or asexually.
  • They chase flashlight beams.
  • They can grow up to two-inches long.
  • There’s a good reason they were first advertised in comic books. Despite the success of Uncle Milton’s ant farms, chain stores wouldn’t touch these little creatures, in part because of Wham-O’s disastrous Instant Fish toy. So in 1962, he started buying advertising space in comic books, writing the copy – which promised “a BOWLFULL OF HAPPINESS” – himself. He didn’t go for a type or genre of comic books. These were marketed directly to kids. And that strategy was successful.” All people had to do was send the money to the address in the ad, and their Sea-Monkeys would arrive in the mail.
  • The holiday’s creator, Susan Barclay, had a totally understandable inspiration for creating this ‘special day!’ Her fascination with Sea-Monkeys is rooted in a minor childhood frustration: her mother wouldn't let her send away for the pets. She bought her first pack at the age of 21, and has been obsessed ever since.
National Sea Monkey Day

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