One of the first Sea Monkey advertisements
I recently had the honoured privilege of speaking to the creator of Sea Monkeys himself, Mr. Harold von Braunhut. Mr. von Braunhut , age 71, is the man behind the magnificent creatures that are Sea Monkeys. In 1957, in Long Island, New York, Mr. von Braunhut came up with the concept of "Instant Life" which was the first name for our beloved Sea Monkeys. They began marketing in 1960 for the meager price of $0.49 under this name! The name was changed 36 years ago to Sea Monkeys and have been marketed as this ever since. He noted that parents enjoyed these pets because they could be left on the shelves for quite some time before purchase and could stay on the shelf for more time until the individual in question began the Instant Life process. The lab in Montor, Long Island, was created 28 years ago - hence the name Artemia Nyos (New York Oceanic Society), and has been creating our aquatic pals ever since.
Create Instant Life!
Mr. von Braunhut explained to me that the Sea Monkeys are currently under revision which explains the dearth of Sea Monkey material on the market. Unfortunately, this plans has been set back with the theft of his portable computer from his vehicle in New York, but we can look forward to a revised version of the always entertaining Sea Monkey catalogue with the new changes (and they say vehicle break-ins are a victimless crime....tell that to those of us eagerly awaiting the new Sea Monkey products!). He explained that he wanted to create heartier, stronger, longer lived Sea Monkeys but the company involved with distributing Sea Monkeys was not interested in investing money in the project. The main concern about the current Sea Monkeys is the lack of oxygen in the tank during their first weeks of life. He noted that there are up to 100 eggs in a Sea Monkey batch but, unfortunately, many fail to grow because they lack the nutrients and oxygen that they require to thrive in the tank. One suggestion he gave me was to aerate the tank daily until they are big enough to be seen with the naked eye or, alternately, move the water back and forth between the tank and a clean container to give them some aeration. Don't worry, they won't be hurt - in fact, they love the ride! He also suggested that you ignore the feeding instructions for the Monkeys and leave them be for 14 to 16 days after birth - this will allow them to feast on the yummy food included in their birthing kit. Please note, they now recommend that the Sea Monkeys are fed every five days...
One of the first Sea Monkey packages
The new formulation for the Sea Monkeys require super homeogenation for the re-agent grade chemicals which will offer our marine pals ample oxygen and nutrition for their initial weeks of life. The upgrades are costing upwards of $100,000.00 for the equipment, which includes a machine which creates a 29.9 inch vacuum for this superhomeogenization, was funded by both Transcience and Educational Insights of Carson, California, and the latter will distribute the Sea Monkeys in the very near future. These new Sea Monkeys will live up to 5 years, as opposed to 1 year, and they will not require the guarantee, although it will remain part of the Sea Monkey package! The tanks are being updated as we speak and I am looking forward to receiving a proto-type in the very near future from Mr. von Braunhut himself. He advised that the new tanks are modified to allow more light in the tank which will result in happier, livelier Sea Monkeys.
Dave, Bill and Aquarius: The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys!
Mr. von Braunhut also told me about "The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys" show which ran from 1991 to 1993 on CBS. Apparently 11 episodes were shown and a total of 54 have been created. We can look forward to a revitalization of this series under the guidance of Howie Mandel, who has shown an interest in packaging the series in a video format with an Ocean Zoo included. The media assault of Sea Monkey related products doesn't end there. We can also look forward to two new books "Splish", published under the name of Simon and Schuster, and "Sea Monkey Summer", published by Scholastic Pocket Books! (Every summer is a Sea Monkey summer 'round these parts!). Both of these books are intended for a younger audience but you can see excerpts as I receive them.
Send this coupon away for a pack of Sea Monkeys! (Not applicable to those living 21st Century
The influx of sea life doesn't end with Sea Monkeys though. Older individuals will recall the pet hermit crab craze of the '70's...this was a creation from the mind of the great Mr. von Braunhut also. They were altered in the same way that Sea Monkeys are - they are genetically manipulated to restrict growth and extend their lives. In addition, Mr. von Braunhut let me in on a little secret about his new product creation.....pet lobsters!!! Yes, the great mind that brought you Sea Monkeys is marketing tiny lobsters that we can call our own. Mr. von Braunhut explained that lobsters can live a very long time - as we may be aware - but their life expectancy is diminished because they become too large and too slow to gain adequate nutrition. In addition, their great size leaves them vulnerable to other "denizens of the deep" which enjoy feasting on lobsters as much as we humans do. Mr. von Braunhut discovered that when they are in a confined, small environment they do not molt their shells, which triggers a growth respose, yet they continue to live. They will be able to grow and live for quite some time in a similar tank to the Ocean Zoo but they don't run the risk of outgrowing their tanks. They will grow bigger when there are fewer lobsters in the tank, much like Sea Monkeys, so their reduction in numbers won't result in the reduction in quality entertainment from your pets. I can't wait to see this new, aquatic pal on the market! Please note, I have no idea when this may be happening, so please don't write to me. There will be an update here when I hear something!
Mr. von Braunhut loves Sea Monkeys a great deal and puts a great deal of thought and quality into every tank. He was interested in hear about the page and the interest in Sea Monkey poetry and parenting. He was extraordinarily interesting to talk to and I can't wait to hear about further developments in Sea Monkeys and other related animals.