Sea Monkey Science FAQ

If you want some general information, this is the place to come. If you want some specific information, pictures of eggs, males, and females, or if you want some ideas for science projects or experiments for school then please consult the True Science page!. If you want information about the Sea Monkeys adventures in space, then please consult the Sea Monkeys in Space page!

Please please please review the pages for the science stuff before writing to me about science projects or experiments. I am simply inundated with letters regarding science projects, so I have set up the page on the science site to give you all the pictures, links, and information I can. If you don’t find what you want on those pages, then I’m happy to help. But please read those first.

Q. How do they keep the Sea-Monkeys in the little package for so long yet they DON’T DIE??? A. Once again, from the Official Sea-Monkey Handbook: A true MIRACLE of nature, Sea-Monkeys actually exist in SUSPENDED ANIMATION! While inside their tiny eggs – yet unborn, they burn the “spark of life” for many YEARS! The Instant-Life cyrstals in which the eggs are enclosed, preserve their viability and help to extend still further – their unhatched life span!…The name scientists have given this amazing rare process is “cryptobiosis” which means “hidden life”.
For a detailed description of the process of “cryptobiosis”, visit the True Science page. Trust me, it’s riveting stuff!
Q. What are sea monkeys made out of (chemical composition or basic materials)? A. Sea Monkeys are actual brine shrimp that have been “locked away in time” through a process of “cryptobiosis”. This is a natural occurrence in some crustaceans and Sea Monkeys, in addition to Fairy Shrimp, Brine Shrimp, and Daphnia, are able to seal themselves away in their eggs until the conditions are right for their birth. So, in fact, they are not vegetable or mineral but are, indeed, animals. They are a variety of the Artemia family which are called “Artemia Nyos” (NYOS being an acronym for the New York Ocean Science Laboratories where the Sea Monkeys were created).
Q. I had found a vial of Seamonkey eggs that I have had for a few years and got all excited and took them to work Wasting no time, while at lunch, I picked up a few packets of salt. Do Seamonkeys need iodized salt? Well, I am glad to see Ocean Zoos are making their into their workplaces and so many may enjoy the mighty excellence of the Sea Monkey. Unfortunately, you have made a grave error. Sea Monkeys do not require salt at all. Everything that they require is found in the Packet #1 of the Sea Monkey creation kit. They may be “brine” shrimp (of a sort) but they do not need brine!!! Please do not attempt to pickle, salt and/or iodize your aquatic pals!!! If you are planning to eat your friends this could make them more tender and last longer but if you want them to live I would advise that you keep household seasonings away from their tank. If you have any concerns about your Sea Monkeys getting goitres from lack of iodine then you may wish to give them one grain of salt but otherwise…
Q. I noticed that you told someone that SeaMonkeys don’t need any salt. Is there no salt in the water purification or in with the eggs? I never tasted it to find out. A. Thank goodness because it tastes horrible! Something like a cross between nail polish remover and Tang! (actually, isn’t that what Tang tastes like in the first place….but I digress.) Actually, if you read the question you will note that Sea Monkeys do not require iodized salt. Sea Monkeys require salt and other minerals but these things come in the package that you use to creat them. Don’t worry, you need not add any of that iodized product…they are fully self-contained and self-sufficient once the purifier and “Instant Life” packages are added!
Q. To what genus do they belong? A. I’m glad you asked this question because I can show off my incredible knowledge gleaned from the Sea Monkey handbook (I knew that studying would pay off some day!) Actually, they are of the genus “Artemia” which is the same genus as the brine shrimp. They live in salt lakes and salt flats, not in the ocean! But, they are not brine shrimp but a specially bred variety of shrimp. You can learn a lot from the little crustaceans – but don’t tell your kids about this they may lose interest (just kidding).
Q. Do Seamonkeys like the sun or hate it? A. Sea Monkeys love the sun as they are photo-reactive, meaning that they react when placed in light or sunlight. (Actually, I have heard that some Sea Monkeys actually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and leaving them out of the sun would make them withdrawn and sullen!) I would suggest that you check their water on a regular basis to make sure that they are not getting too hot but otherwise you can’t go wrong with putting your wonderful Sea Monkeys in the sun to frolic and play! See the “Teach your Sea Monkey Tricks” page to find out more about their love for light!
Q. What are we feeding them, Bluegreen alge? Does the Bluegreen alge like or hate the sun? A. Wow, the hard questions are starting now….I thought this was going to be easy! Actually, I’m not sure what we are feeding them as I haven’t analyzed it closely but my best guess would be algae and diatoms, as per the handbook. Both of these single celled organisms flourish in the Sea Monkey tank and provide them with food and nutrients! Diatoms and algae require sunlight to live as they use a process called photosynthesis (photo= light and synthesis =create) to make their food! As noted above, keep your wonderful Sea Monkeys in the sunlight and they will frolic; keep their water in the light and you will find a flourishing colony of algae! Did you ever think that Sea Monkeys could teach us so much?
Q. Are Sea Monkeys a type of Plankton? A. A good question but unfortunately the answer is no. Sea Monkeys are, in fact, a form of brine shrimp, genetically altered to live longer and grow larger. Plankton is generally a unicellular animal and Sea Monkeys are definitely multi-cellular. I hope this answers your question.