Do you remember when you were a kid and your mom bought you sea monkeys? You couldn’t wait to get home so you could get them in water so they could hatch. There was something magical about adding the “special ingredients” to the water that would make them come alive, flipping and diving, as if putting on a show only for you. It was even more magical, of course, since you didn’t know that sea monkeys are really just brine shrimp–which you can ship around because they’re systems are very simple, and they’re small enough that a lot of people use them as food for baby goldfish.
Anyway, sea monkeys have been a part of children’s lives since the 1960s. Even if they didn’t look like the creatures in the comic book ads. Maybe that’s why there’s a Sea Monkey Day–that being May 16th, and a fine reason to share some fine sea monkey facts. We won’t blame you if you hit the official site and order some more. For the kids, of course…
- Sea monkeys go by many names. They are actually a form of brine shrimp with the biological name of Artemia NYOS. Sometimes they are also called seed shrimps.
- The brine shrimp sold as sea monkeys live longer than normal brine shrimp because they’re hybrids bred to do so.
- Sea monkeys are born with only one eye, but develop two more (for a total of 3!) as they grow.
- Sea monkeys can live up to 2 years with proper care.
- When sea monkeys are born, they are so tiny it’s very difficult to see them. In about a month’s time, they grow to about a half inch in length and will begin mating to make more baby sea monkeys!
- Sea monkeys breathe through their feet – how neat is that?
- Sea monkeys are loving little creatures who kiss and cuddle to show affection for one another.
- When sea monkeys need more oxygen, they will swim upside down. Since they breathe through their feet, this type of swimming provides it. A cousin shrimp, the fairy shrimp, swims upside down all the time.
- The “special ingredient” that is added to the sea monkey’s water is actually sea salt. Sea monkeys have to live in salt water to survive.
- Sea monkeys eat algae, so unless it gets too bad, don’t clean the sides of their tank of algae.
- You can tell a sea monkey is properly fed when you see its belly turns black after eating.
- If the tank is too cold, sea monkeys won’t grow.
- Sea monkey can change colors anywhere from white to a deep, dark red.
- Male sea monkeys have whiskers on their chins.
- 71.6 degrees is the perfect temperature for a sea monkey tank.