Don't Spank This Monkey
In the comic books, they were advertised as humanoid-ish creatures, with three horns on their heads, and they looked so damn happy. For a mere $1.25, I would somehow get these creatures in the mail. I wanted my very own "bowl of happiness."
Alas, I never ordered them. Nor did I get the X-ray glasses. But the question remained...
What the hell are Sea Monkeys anyway???
After doing some research, I was astounded to learn that Sea Monkeys are real organisms. Their scientific name is Artemia salina. These things are a type of brachiopod...sorta like brine shrimp. This specific creature is actually patented - U.S. Patent 3,673,986. They were engineered, actually. Sea Monkeys are a hybrid - part brine shrimp, part non-brine shrimp (salty and fresh water shrimp).
But how did kids get living creatures via the mail? Were they frozen in carbonite or something?
The Sea Monkeys were prepared and put into a state of cryptobiosis - or suspended animation. You get the eggs in a little packet, where they're covered with "life crystals." And when you put them into a little tank filled with clean, non-chlorinated water, they begin to hatch and come to life.
So once you get your Sea Monkey colony going, do they reproduce? Oh, you betcha! They can do it sexually or asexually. Imagine what fun kids can have while watching the entire circle of life occur in their little plastic aquariums!
Although I no longer partake in the joy of comic books as an adult, there's something about these Sea Monkeys that still manages to fascinate me. Maybe it's time for me to buy them. Maybe it's time to satisfy that little 10 year old scientist inside of me.
Maybe it's time for me to fulfill my Sea Monkey destiny.