Sea Monkey Business

If you ever read a Marvel comic in the seventies you saw them. Full-page ads for sea monkeys in full garish color featuring Daddy, Mommy, big brother and little sister sea monkey. An entire 1950’s nuclear family in a fishbowl. Some ads even shows a noble, bethroned king sea monkey complete with crown, scepter and harem of nubile young sea monkey maidens.

So, you shell out $4.99 (plus $2 for shipping and handling) for the super deluxe kit which features “Toys” for your little friends to play with (and isn’t that extra dollar a small price to pay for your sea monkeys quality of life?).

Every day you race home from school. Not because just your eager for your sea monkeys to arrive, but because Todd Snodgrass the school bully has threatened to knock your teeth out. Nevertheless, four to six weeks later your package arrives. You carefully prepare the water and wait for your new aquatic playmates to hatch. That’s when you receive your first hard, cold lesson in capitalism…. Caveat emptor, buyer beware.

Instead of the playful anthropomorphic creatures depicted in your Spider Man comic, you get gruesome squigglies that look like something from a stagnant pond.

So tell me, how could fraud on such a grand scale go on for so long? Were the politicians in the pocket of the multi-billion dollar sea monkey/industrial complex? Was Ralph Nader too busy with exploding Pintos to address sea monkeys and X-Ray Spex? Is there a class action suit I can join?

Not at all bitter

Adam “Inky” “Anybody want a subscription to “Grit”?” Greene

I kinda found the female sea monkeys attractive.

Does that make me sick?



I’ve seen the sea monkeys advertised, but I have never known anyone to actually own them. They are some kind of little shrimp, aren’t they?

Yep, little shrimpy things. If you saw 'em swimming around in your bathtub you’d have a stroke.

Yes, they’re brine shrimp. Which means that they have several billion years of evolution to go before they can play the ukulele (but only about five years before you’ll see brine shrimp with those plastic recorders from grade school).

Anyway, my WAG is that Nader had bigger fish to fry and wasn’t wasting his time on these shrimps. No one really cared if the kids got bilked out of $4.99 for Sea Monkeys or X-Ray Glasses or whatever. I suppose you could file a suit now, but the statute of limitations is probably up and you can’t buy a new pack now and claim you didn’t know what would be in there.

Maybe you can get a 5 year old to buy some and represent him in court :wink:

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Cecil covered this in a column that was reprinted in a Straight Dope book, complete with AOL member comments, IIRC.

I guess I was a weird kid, but I actually liked Sea Monkeys. I didn’t feel ripped off in the least bit.

But if there’s a lawsuit to be filed, I’d imagine it would be for the eye strain caused by looking for those little suckers when they first hatch. After a while they’d get big, but at first they were damn near microscopic.

Brine shrimp = Sea “Monkey”. Huh?

Not that I really can understand “sea horse” either.

I was actually more interested in the “Grow your own stalagtites” ads for those little pellets that grew with water. I bought one of those. Worked great.


Well, Voltaire, my point was this: how could they get away with a full page ad depicting frolicking, anthropomorphic sea monkeys and then deliver somthing that looks like mosquito larvae?

I LOVED those funky colored stalagtite (or would it be stalagmite?) things!!

The same way McDonalds gets away with pictures of fresh, visually appealing hamburgers in their ads.

mojo wrote

Are you serious? The resemblance between seahorses and real horses is uncanny! Sea horses swim upright, their body looks like a horse’s wide broad neck, the rectangular shape of the mouth looks exactly like a regular horse.

Have you ever seen a seahorse?

We recently had a family of sea monkeys as educational material for the kids. Big hit, until someone put a dead fly into the container, causing all of the sea monkeys to mysteriously perish. The minuteness problem of the freshly hatched larvae is solved via modern technology: the clear plastic sides of the aquarium are outfitted with magnifying lenses so that when the itty bitty monkeys shimmy past, you can see them.

They would be stalgmites. Stalactites grow downward from the ceiling. Stalagmites grow upward from the ground.

Mnemonic furnished at no additional charge.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

I always used “Stalactites are stuck tite on the ceiling.”

Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.

I raise Sea Monkeys all the time.

I have an aquarium, so I often buy brine shrimp eggs, hatch them out and feed them to my fish.

All aquarium stores have them. You can hatch thousands for a couple of bucks.

The eggs themselves are viable for a couple of years or more, if you keep them in a cool, dry place.

If you’re an optimist, you haven’t been paying attention.

My apologies to all Sea Monkey lovers out there, but hey, we live in a Darwinian world.

They have covered their arses, my friends. It says quite clearly on the advertisements that the images do not represent what the sea monkeys actually look like.

After all they were naked pink things with crowns. I doubt any kid believed that’s what they’d get.