Okay before we start, we’d first like to say that yes, we know that a Sea Monkey is a living creature with a tiny little brain and a tiny little heart and maybe even a tiny little soul, so in no way whatsoever should Sea Monkeys be seen as toys. And yes, we also understand that Sea Monkeys were not to be played with in the backseat. However, with all that being said, we are willing to bet that one of your first encounters with Sea Monkeys was while you were sitting in the back seat reading a comic book.Oh, how long you looked at that picture and thought how cool it would be to raise a whole family – no- a whole KINGDOM of Sea Monkeys right there in your bedroom. What’s this? You can teach them TRICKS and have your own SEA MONKEY CIRCUS? Gosh, won’t the kids in the neighborhood be impressed. Why, I bet they’d even pay a quarter to have a look-see at your Sea Monkey Circus. “Step right, up and see the half-human, half-fish jump through underwater fire!” That’ll show Fergie Robertson – that kid down the street who once got that free raccoon in the mail for selling Christmas cards. You know, the one that bit you on the nose and then ran out the front door of Fergie’s house while all the kids laughed at you? He still blames the raccoon running away on you. By the way, how many rabies shots did they give you that day?
Anyway, you didn’t have to wait 6 to 8 weeks for delivery anymore. Lo and behold, there they were in that Stuckey’s in Hattiesburg, Mississippi that your folks always stopped in on your way back from Gatorland, Florida. Now instead of staring at them in back of a comic book, you stared at the box in the backseat of your car…all the way to back to where you lived in Bayou la Batre, Alabama.
“Yessiree. You’ll see, Fergie Robertson,” you think to yourself. “You’ll see.”
So you get home, and after putting all of your stuff away, it’s finally time to start your world dominat… er, that is, your Sea Monkey family. You pulled out the little plastic “Sea Monkey Ocean Zoo” aquarium, filled it with water, added the “Water Purifier” and waited 24 hours. The next day you tore open the little packet of “Instant Life Eggs” and poured it into the purified water. Then you watched and waited. Eventually you saw these tiny little insect-looking things moving in the water. “Wait,” you think, and check the box and check the directions, then check the box again. You look closely again at the tiny little things swimming around your Sea Monkey Ocean Zoo.
A couple of days go by and these bugs in the water just keep getting bigger and bigger. “Maybe they ate the Sea Monkey eggs,” you say to yourself. So, you go get your dad and tell him you think something is wrong. Your dad comes in picks up your Ocean Zoo, puts it back down and says, “Nope. Nothing’s wrong. They’re growing just fine.”
“But where are my Sea Monkeys.”
Your dad chuckles, “Son, those are your Sea Monkeys. Sorry, Sport!” He tousles your hair and leaves.
A week later, you’ve run out of Sea Monkey food and it takes 6 to 8 weeks for the new food to arrive. You try bread crumbs, but it’s no use. Your dreams of a Sea Monkey Circus have died. You flush them down the toilet, wash out the aquarium and lay on your bed to read a comic: “Darling Pet Monkey… only $18.95…”
“Fergie Robertson never had a pet monkey, I bet.”
Developed by Harold von Braunhut, who also held the patents to other great novelties including X-Ray Specs, Crazy Crabs, Amazing Hair-Raising Monsters, and Invisible Goldfish, Sea Monkeys are actually a type of brine shrimp. After seeing the success that Milton Levine had with his Ant Farms in 1956, von Braunhut worked with marine biologist Dr. Anthony D’Agostino and developed Sea-Monkeys the next year.
Selling for just 49 cents, Harold originally called his product “Instant Life”, but changed the name in 1962 to Sea Monkeys after noticing that the brine shrimp’s tail sort of resembled that of a monkey’s.
However, it wasn’t the name alone that attracted people, and especially kids, to this bizarre aquarium pet. von Braunhut was, after all, a marketer, so he marketed Sea Monkeys heavily in comic books during the ‘60s and ‘70s using illustrations drawn by comic-book artist Joe Orlando who had quite a career of his own drawing for the likes of Mad Magazine and DC comics. However, Orlando’s humanoid depiction of Sea Monkeys looked nothing like the briny shrimp, which led many who purchased the product to be highly disappointed for buying “fish bait”.
Nonetheless, Sea Monkeys remain a highly sought after part of American pop-culture nearly 70 years later.
Here some other interesting Sea Monkeys facts:
You Won’t Find Sea Monkeys in the Wild
von Braunhut had a hard time getting the original species of brine shrimp to stay alive for more than a couple of weeks. It was only after many attempts made by him and D’Agostino at cross-breeding the shrimp that the they would grow large enough and make the Sea Monkey’s lifespan long enough to be of interest as a pet. They were successful, but only after many years of working inside the laboratory they created the new species in.
You Might Not Get a Circus, But You’ll Get a Freak Show
Sea Monkeys are weird. They breathe through their feet. And if that’s not weird enough for you, they’re only borne with one eye, not growing another until after they reach Sea Monkey puberty.
They’re Not Harmful to the Environment
Have you had to flush a few of your Sea Monkey friend down the toilet after an untimely demise? Don’t worry, they didn’t turn into a giant sewer alligator or anything, nor are they hiding beneath the city performing their own underground Sea Monkey circus for sewer rats. In fact, once they’re away from the specially prepared water, they pretty much die. Now go back to sleep.
You Can Tell Boy Sea-Monkeys from Girl Sea-Monkeys
And no, it’s not by lifting up their tails. Males are like the Maynard G, Krebs of the Sea Monkey universe. They sport little whiskers under their chins; females don’t. And much like humans, males will fight each other in order to attract the attention of females. However, if you see one two Sea Monkeys together and only one of them has whiskers… well that’s means they’re making mad Sea Monkey love, which they do for days! Yup, Sea Monkey males are the Sting of crustaceans.
Sea Monkeys Had Their Own Sitcom
Airing on CBS in 1992, The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys starred Howie Mandel as a professor who accidentally enlarges three Sea-Monkeys to human size. How did that only last 11 episodes?
Sea Monkeys Went To Space
On October 29, 1998, the Space Shuttle Discovery carried some very special cargo into space: 400 million Sea-Monkey eggs. The eggs spent nine days in space and, when they were hatched eight weeks later, the creatures showed no ill effects from their journey.
Okay, no more monkeying around. Stop in your nearest Stuckey’s location and pick up a few of our Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls and other Stuckey’s merchandise like our fine pecan candies, flavored nuts, and our branded t-shirts, hats and mugs.
If you happen to be living in an area that doesn’t have a Stuckey’s yet, then head over to our website to find out how you can have all of Stuckey’s pecan-y goodness delivered right to your front door. Visit stuckey’s.com for more info.
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!