sea monkeys

Are Sea Monkeys Actually Alive? Not What You Think…

3 min read

When you see all of the colorful advertisements for Sea-Monkeys, it can be hard to take them seriously as an actual living brine shrimp.

When instant life is advertised saying that you just drop them into the water and they instantly come to life, it can be hard to believe.

In fact, many people wonder if Sea-Monkeys are actually alive?…

Sea-Monkeys are actually alive because they are living organisms. They are a hybrid type of artemia salina brine shrimp and are called artemia nyos brine shrimp.

Although Sea-Monkeys are not actual monkeys and they don’t live in the sea, Sea-Monkey is the name given to living hybrid brine shrimp.

The confusion of whether Sea-Monkeys are actually alive comes from not many people knowing about Cryptobiosis

What Is Cryptobiosis?

Cryptobiosis is defined as:

a physiological state in which metabolic activity is reduced to an undetectable level without disappearing altogether. It is known in certain plant and animal groups adapted to survive periods of extremely dry conditions.

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Sea-Monkeys are actually brine shrimp albeit hybrid super brine shrimp but they are still brine shrimp that originated from salt lakes.

One of the problems with living in salt lakes is that sometimes they would go through a drought which would have wiped out the brine shrimp population if not for cryptobiosis which is actually just the ability of Sea-Monkey eggs to lay dormant without completely dying and then able to spring to life when they come in contact with salt water again.

Are Sea-Monkeys Really Monkeys?

I think the real reason, people ask if Sea-Monkeys are alive is because of their name.

They are not really monkeys and they don’t live in the sea.

The reason Sea-Monkeys are called Sea-Monkeys is that their inventor, Harold von Braunhut, was fascinated by their appearance and the ability of the eggs to go through cryptobiosis.

When Harold von Braunhut first saw the normal artemia salina brine shrimp swimming around in a bucket labeled fish food, he thought there had to be a way to market the brine shrimp to kids as pets, using cryptobiosis as an attraction, calling it instant life.

Harold called them Sea-Monkeys because of their long monkey-like tails and he needed a name that would be attractive to kids.


If Sea Monkeys Are Alive, How Did They Become Hybrid Brine Shrimp?

Sea-Monkeys didn’t work very well when they first started selling, because Harold was just packaging normal brine shrimp eggs and passing them off as Sea-Monkey eggs.

Harold knew he had a great selling product if he could get it to work better, so he teamed up with Anthony D’Agostino, a marine biologist at the New York Ocean Science lab, and they bred the hybrid brine shrimp now know as artemia nyos(named for the lab) aka Sea-Monkeys.

These new and improved Sea Monkey eggs could lay dormant for several years compared to normal brine shrimp eggs, which only lay dormant for up to 2 years.

When hatched, the Sea Monkeys can grow to about 3/4 of an inch with some people claiming their Sea-Monkeys have grown up to an inch compared to normal brine shrimp which can only grow to a little less than a third of an inch.

Sea-Monkeys can live for up to a year compared to their normal brine shrimp cousin which only lives for about 3 months.

Related Questions To: Are Sea-Monkeys actually Alive?

How Long Can Sea-Monkeys Live?

Sea-Monkeys can live for up to a year if properly cared for. A Sea-Monkey colony can last up to 5 years since the Sea-Monkeys are constantly breeding and hatching new eggs.

Can Sea-Monkeys Live Forever?

Each Sea-Monkey can not live forever themselves but some people believe that you can keep a Sea-Monkey colony alive forever if properly cared for since they are constantly breeding and the eggs can lay dormant for several years even with no water.


Now you know that Sea-Monkeys are actually alive and why they are called Sea-Monkeys in the first place.

Now go buy some at or on Amazon!

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Pet Aquariums

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