Search icon


21st Nov 2023

Dark truth behind iconic childhood staple Sea Monkeys

Charlie Herbert

Dark truth behind iconic childhood staple Sea Monkeys

This puts a dark spin on the iconic childhood item

Sea Monkeys will be familiar to many of you reading this, but there’s a dark truth behind them.

Sea-Monkeys is the marketing term for a common type of sea creature: brine shrimp. As a product, Sea-Monkeys first hit the shelves in the 1950s, and are sold in packets of dust comprised of brine shrimp eggs.

Initially marketed as “Instant Life,” Sea-Monkeys are sold in hatching kits as novelty aquarium pets, and there’s a good chance you or someone you know got given them as a present when you were young.

The genius behind them being sold in shops and given as presents was that Sea Monkeys don’t die if they are frozen, dried or starved of oxygen. They simply enter a state of suspended animation and come back to life once they are put in water, so could be stored and transported easily.

A packet of the eggs would come along with a tank to fill with water, a packer of water purifier, a pouch of food for the creatures and a little spoon to pour the food into the tank.

This was all you needed to grow your own Sea Monkey colony

You’d simply empty the eggs into the water, and then watch the little things wake up from their suspended animation and grow over the months.

The creatures are hybrid breed of brine shrimp called Artemia NYOS produced in 1957 by Harold von Braunhut, according to the journal American Entomologist.

Von Braunhut invented other joke toys such as glasses that claimed to see through clothes, a monster card that grew hair when you added water and an ‘invisible goldfish’, which was a glass bowl with some sea plants and a sign that said ‘Invisible Goldfish: Do Not Feed.’ 

Here’s another fact about Von Braunhut: he was a huge white supremacist.

Von Braunhut developed a close association with white supremacist groups, by buying weapons for a Klu Klux Klan faction and regularly attending the annual conference of Neo-Nazi group Aryan Nationals.

This was despite Von Braunhut having a Jewish upbringing, with the inventor even adding ‘von’ into his name to make him sound more Germanic.

This was all exposed by the Washington Post in the late 1980s, and prompted distributors to cancel their licenses for Sea Monkeys.

So there you go. You’ll never look at Sea Monkeys in the same way again.

Related links:

Dark secret behind mystery windowless skyscraper that’s gone viral


sea monkeys

No posts have been found