Are Sea Monkeys Real?

Sea monkeys have been around since the ’50s, but to many, they are just a novelty gift that you buy for kids. Since they have a somewhat novelty reputation and exaggerated advertisements, some people don’t even believe that sea monkeys are real.

However, this is not the case.

are sea monkeys real

Sea monkeys are not real in the sense that they are monkeys that live in the sea. However, sea monkeys are very real in the sense that they are a living hybrid form of brine shrimp (Artemia Nyos) created specifically to be children’s pets and nick-named Sea-Monkeys because of their long monkey-like tails and to be more attractive to children.

What? I know, it is not that simple so let us explain further.

What Exactly Is A Sea Monkey?

As stated above, a sea monkey is a hybrid form of brine shrimp known as Artemia Nyos. Nyos stands for the New York Ocean Science (Nyos) Laboratory where they were created.

They were originally created by Harold von Braunhut in 1957.

The story goes that Harold was in a store looking at some fish aquariums and there was a bucket full of brine shrimp to feed the fish.

When Harold looked down into the bucket, he was amused by the brine shrimp swimming around with their long tails.

He instantly thought there must be a way to market the sea monkeys as pets.

Brine shrimp eggs can lay dormant for a long time and then spring to life when they come into contact with saltwater.

Harold came up with the name Sea-Monkeys, packaged the brine shrimp eggs, made some illustrations of sea monkeys, and then advertised them for sale in comic books.

sea monkeys are brine shrimp

They sold like crazy, but a lot of the sea monkey eggs were duds.

This led Harold to team up with Anthony D’Agostino at the aforementioned New York Ocean Science laboratory. Together, they paired the normal brine shrimp with some type of stronger longer living shrimp to come up with the hybrid form of Artemia Nyos brine shrimp.

The hybrid artemia nyos brine shrimp eggs can lay dormant longer, can grow bigger, and live longer than the normal brine shrimp.

The resulting product proved to be much better than the original to the point that sea monkeys are still being sold today.

You can buy them at or on Amazon.

How Long Do Sea Monkeys Live?

Sea monkeys(artemia nyos) are a hybrid form of brine shrimp that can live up to a year. Not to be confused with normal brine shrimp(artemia salina) which can only live an average of 3 months.

Since sea monkeys are constantly breeding and their eggs can lay dormant for months to years when not in contact with water, the actual sea monkey colony can live for up to 5 years although some people claim the colony can last forever in the proper conditions.

Do Sea Monkeys Actually Grow?

Sea monkeys can grow from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. Not to be confused with the normal brine shrimp(artemia slaina) which can only grow up o 8 mm. Some people have claimed their sea monkeys have grown up to an inch but this is a rare instance.

Can You Bring Sea Monkeys Back to Life?

People who ask this question may be confused about how sea monkeys work. You can’t bring the actual sea monkey that has already hatched back to life but the sea monkey eggs can lay dormant in suspended animation for years until they come in contact with saltwater again.

This process of suspended animation is known as cryptobiosis.

Are Sea-Monkeys Still Available?

Because of the great work done by Harold von Braunhut and Anthony D’Agostino at the New York Ocean Science laboratory, sea monkeys are still available today.

They are still available because they are the hybrid form of brine shrimp whose eggs can lay dormant longer and the hybrid brine shrimp known as sea monkeys can grow bigger and live longer.

If the original brine shrimp(artemia salina) had been used as sea monkeys, they may have lost their following and not be available today.


When children get their sea monkeys they are supposed to wait 24 hours before the eggs actually hatch.

They are supposed to add the water purifier and then wait 24 hours before they add the sea monkey eggs, which supposedly hatch instantly, and then you see them swimming around right away.

What really happens is the water purifier packet adds salt to the water, including some of the eggs.

Harold knew that it would take at least 24 hours before you could see them and it would still need a blue dye.

Packet number 2 in the sea monkey kit contains a blue dye and some more eggs. The blue dye is water-soluble and covers the existing sea monkeys which children can then instantly see swimming around.

The children think the eggs instantly hatch the sea monkeys, which makes it pretty exciting for children.

It is a small white lie but the whole process is included in the patent.

It is exciting for children so who cares!

Enjoy Your sea monkeys!

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