On the heels of the popular ant farm toys came Sea-Monkeys, introduced in 1957 (originally called “Instant Life”). The name was changed to the more fanciful version in 1962, and they were marketed heavily to kids — especially through comic books.
The product was a huge success, despite the fact that the Sea-Monkeys — in reality, simply brine shrimp — disappointed millions of kids by not looking even remotely like the characters on the product package.
One of the most unusual aquatic pets is the strain of artemia (brine shrimp) that Harold Braunhut has developed and marketed as Sea Monkeys.
A starter set can cost as little as a dollar. The little shrimp hatch instantly in 12 ounces of purified water, are born about the size of this comma, and within four weeks they grow to about 1/3-inch, with feathery little tails and swimmerets. Fully grown, they reach a maximum of two inches.
Sea Monkeys would be little more than a curiosity, except for a unique talent: They react to light and swim upstream against currents.
Braunhut has used these characteristics to create an instruction book of fascinating tricks to put the shrimp through, and his Transcience Corp. markets a series of racing games in which human players guide their Sea Monkeys by controlling the rate of the current flow.
A deluxe set to breed 100 shrimp includes the instruction book, good for several months, and ready-to-hatch dry eggs and retails for around $2. The racing games (speedway, ski trails, cycle race, fox hunt) are $10 each.
Just add water and you’ve got instant life!
Over 150 amazing Sea-Monkeys born ALIVE before YOUR eyes!
Super Sea Monkeys: Fastest-growing Sea-Monkeys of all time!
Enter the wonderful world of amazing live Sea-Monkeys (1971)
Instant pets, only $1.25 – So eager to please, they can even be trained
Always clowning around, these frolicsome pets swim, stunt and play games with each other. Because they are so full of tricks, you’ll never tire of watching them. And raising Sea-Monkeys is so easy, even a six-year-old can do so without help. They eat very little, and they keep their water so clean, they require only a minimum care, though they LOVE attention.
It’s fun to raise pet Sea-Monkeys! (1970)
The official “Instant Life” handbook — includes the Sea-Monkey (Artemia) Growth Guarantee
Own a bowlful of happiness… amazing live Sea-Monkeys (1972)
A thrilling live sea-circus in your home! – Only $1.00