Q:

What are sea monkeys?

A:

Quick Answer

Sea-Monkeys are a brand name for a hybrid breed of brine shrimp called Artemia NYOS. The name "Sea-Monkey" was invented as a marketing tool by American mail-order marketer Harold von Braunhut in 1957.

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Full Answer

Beginning in the late 1950s, ads for Sea-Monkeys began to spring up in comic books and other publications geared toward younger audiences. They were touted as pets that came to life when submerged in water. These products actually contained salt and brine shrimp eggs that hatched when placed in purified water. The crustaceans then undergo the process of crytobiosis, which means that all metabolic processes stop in response to adverse environmental conditions. This gave the appearance that the Sea-monkeys came alive in water.

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