Sea Monkeys Ahoy

Welcome to my Sea Monkey™ page.

This is yet another of my obsessions.
I have raised Sea Monkeys for several years, and it's always a fun time.

I'm going to explain some important facts about them, and tips for raising them.  Then, I'll post some of my groundbreaking Sea Monkey videos.  (Disclaimer:  Please bear in mind that I don't work for the Transcience company or any other distributor of Sea Monkey accouterments   I'm not a Sea Monkey scientist.  I've just raised many, many batches of the little buggers.)

Sea Monkeys are not from the sea, and they are not monkeys.
Sea Monkeys are a specially bred hybrid of brine shrimp, named Artemia NYOS (*NYOS stands for New York Ocean Science).  Their "father" and creator is Harold von Braunhut.  Sea Monkeys are a type of crustacean.  I see video comments online all the time about them where people say, "They're just brine shrimp."  NO.  They are not.  Sea Monkeys were bred to only survive under very specific conditions using a proprietary chemical formula developed by the Transcience company (the packet that activates the eggs contains a special combination of yeast, borax, salt, and soda and sometimes blue dye).  Sea Monkeys are not found in nature, as regular brine shrimp are.  So while they are a TYPE of brine shrimp and they look very similar, they are not "just brine shrimp" or interchangeable with other kinds of brine shrimp.  They are an artificially-bred subspecies that only comes from a laboratory.

The next cool thing about Sea Monkeys and other brine shrimp is that while still in their eggs, they can naturally or artificially undergo cryptobiosis for extended periods of time before hatching.

"Crypto" means hidden.
"Biosis" means life.

This means that the little, tiny, pinpoint-sized eggs can be forced to halt their metabolic process for indefinite periods of time.  They don't hatch into babies.  They.  Just.  STOP DEVELOPING.
And they wait................and wait......................................and wait.........................

Cryptobiosis actually happens naturally in some animals and plants (crazy!), although it's induced artificially in Sea Monkeys by being purposely freeze dried.  It's an evolved biological survival mechanism within the creature that benefits it --- meaning --- to only hatch when the time and conditions are right. The Sea Monkey master geniuses have capitalized on this.  While still an egg, the Sea Monkey is programmed to suspend it's growth and development process during times where conditions aren't good enough to live in, such as being dried out, freezing, oxygen deprivation, etc.  The organism "knows" internally to stop functioning until conditions return to normal.  It's a very handy ability.  (Who doesn't wish that they could nap in Sea Monkey stasis until their world was made perfect to wake up into?)

Then, when everything returns to (or is made) normal - water, temperature, proper pH levels, etc. - the creature resumes functioning and activates....meaning, IT HATCHES INTO CUTENESS.

If you are raising Sea Monkeys, here are some basic tips:

  • Follow the hatching steps exactly, to the letter.  Don't skip steps, change the timing, or make substitutions. The directions say to use distilled water.  DO IT.  Don't use tap water, spring water, mineral water, water from your fish tank, or any other kind of water.  Use distilled, as instructed.
  • Don't over feed.  Over feeding will create too much algae, which steals away oxygen from your critters.  They will suffocate and die without enough oxygen.  Very sad!  Again, follow the instructions on the package and feed them every 4-5 days, and when the water is clear (not cloudy)
  • BIG IMPORTANT TIP:  Aerating the water is really important.  It's maybe the most important thing you can do to keep your Sea Monkeys healthy and happy for the long term - because their tanks really need daily oxygen. You can send away for the Million Bubble Blower, which is basically a mini-bellows for the monkeys (it's just $2.00, but you have to mail the check or money order - there is no online order process - kind of a pain in this day and age.).  Some people have success using a straw and gently blowing into the water, but keep in mind that it's not just air you're blowing into the tank, it's your breath, so it's carbon dioxide.  I've tried different methods, and one easily accessible (and inexpensive) way to aerate your water is by using an infant suction bulb (a.k.a., nasal aspirator).  You could even very gently use a small, clean turkey baster.  Aerate the water at least twice a day.  It only takes a minute.
  • Keep the tank in a sunny, north facing window that's not too cold, not too hot.  Sea Monkeys like light and comfortable warm temperatures.  Nothing extreme.
  • Clean algae from the side of the tank using a paper towel and a chopstick.  Too much algae can be deadly to Sea Monkeys.
  • Remove any little fuzzy-looking white balls.  They are BAD (bacteria) and will hurt your Sea Monkeys.

There will be happy days and sad days with Sea Monkeys.  They can't all live.  I always start off with about 45-50 babies, and then the tank thins down to about 25-30.  My Sea Monkeys usually live up to about a year and a half on average.

Again, keep in mind that Sea Monkeys can only live and thrive in the special environment designed for them artificially.  If you pour them into a lake, toilet, ocean, puddle, sewer, or other watery place, they will immediately die a cruel death.  There is no possibility of survival.  (I actually had a friend that flushed her Sea Monkeys down the toilet when she didn't want them anymore, thinking that they would "return home to the ocean".  I was horrified...)

SEA MONKEY NERD DREAM ALERT: If I ever won the lottery, I'd like to have a Sea Monkey Build-a-Tank and Rehabilitation and Adoption Center (*cute and catchy acronym name forthcoming).  You could design a tank (theme, colors, shape), buy supplies, adopt or surrender Sea Monkeys for others to adopt.  Or - you get connected with other Sea Monkey nerds, or babysit/foster Sea Monkeys for people for vacations, moving, etc.  I'm suspecting it's slightly a niche market, must have dreams...

Sea Monkeys do not have brains.  They have special nerve groups called ganglia that tell them what to do.
Sea Monkeys are born with a 3rd eye, which they lose as they become adults.
Sea Monkeys breathe through their legs.
Sea Monkey kidneys are in their heads.

I stare at my Sea Monkeys for long periods of time, every day.  It's practically a form of meditation for me.  I also make silly videos of them.  All of the videos below are mine, made in my house, with my Sea Monkeys over the past few years.


Sea Monkeys!

Sea Monkeys with weird music

Sea Monkeys (Black Cat on a Roof Tonight!)

Sea Monkeys swimming to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds

Monkeys on the Moon (2-day-old babies)

3-Day-Old baby Sea Monkeys

First Feeding (5-Day-Old Sea Monkeys)

Time Changes Space! Close up of Sea Monkey babies

A week in, and they finally look like real Sea Monkeys. Plus some groovy moog-type music

Spaghetti Western Sea Monkeys: Day 10

Crazy feeding frenzy at the bottom of the tank!

Film Noir Vintage Sea Monkeys......jazzzzzzzzz!

Psychedelic Voodoo Sea Monkeys

A few years ago, I created a  12x24" stained glass mosaic in a window frame depicting a human in a Sea Monkey body:

Thanks for visiting!

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