When people become interested in Sea-Monkeys, they usually wonder if they are real, some type of monkey, or just some novelty gift for children.
When someone digs a little deeper to find out what Sea-Monkeys are, the first question is if Sea-Monkeys are brine shrimp.
Sea-Monkeys are brine shrimp but the normal brine shrimp that originated in the wild. Sea-Monkeys are a hybrid form of brine shrimp that were bred specifically to be Sea-Monkeys. Normal brine shrimp are of the family artemia salina while Sea-Monkeys are of the family artemia nyos of brine shrimp.
So if Sea-Monkeys aren’t the normal wild brine shrimp then what is the difference?…
What Is The Difference Between Sea-Monkeys and Brine Shrimp?
Normal artemia salina brine shrimp only grow to .4 inches and only live an average of 3 months.
Artemia nyos brine shrimp can grow up to 3/4 of an inch with a rare owner saying their Sea-Monkey grew to an inch.
The eggs of brine shrimp go through cryptobiosis which means they can stay in suspended animation when dry to survive droughts but hatch and spring to life when they come in contact with salt water.
The eggs of Sea-Monkeys can remain in suspended animation longer than normal brine shrimp eggs and when hatched, the baby Sea-Monkeys can grow bigger and live longer than normal brine shrimp.
Why Are Sea-Monkeys a Hybrid Form of Brine Shrimp
So the story goes…
Back in 1957, Harold von Braunhut was in a store looking at fish aquariums when he saw a bucket of brine shrimp that was labeled ‘fish food’.
When he looked into the bucket and watched the brine shrimp swimming around with their long tails, he instantly got the idea to package and market them as pets.
He already knew about cryptobiosis, so he thought kids would be interested if he advertised them as ‘instant life’ pets. You could just add them to saltwater and watch them instantly come to life right before your eyes.
He came up with the name Sea-Monkeys because of the long tails and he needed a name that would be attractive to kids.
He advertised the Sea-Monkeys in comic books and they became an instant sensation, but…
There were too many disappointed customers because a lot of the Sea-Monkey eggs wouldn’t hatch, sometimes none at all.
Harold knew he had a great product though if he could get the eggs to hatch more consistently so he teamed up with marine biologist Anthony D’Agostino at the New York Ocean Science laboratory which is where nyos came from for the scientific name of Sea-Monkeys.
At the lab, they were able to develop the Sea-Monkey artemia nyos eggs from normal brine shrimp eggs.
The new Sea-Monkey eggs improved the product to the point that Sea-Monkeys are still around today.
Now, if you buy some Sea-Monkeys, you will already have one story to tell for some great conversation.
Not much else to say about whether Sea-Monkeys are brine shrimp or not. Just go get some for yourself and you will see why we call them super brine shrimp.