As a child these creatures were mysterious.
They were magical.
They were a biologists spark of brilliant marketing.
After attending the Live at Fenner yesterday the mystery of the Sea Monkey has been revealed to me. Before I let you in on the secret, let me give you a little back ground.
Vernal ponds are ponds that flood in the Spring and early Summer only to dry up later in the year. These ponds are prime real estate for frogs, salamanders and many invertebrate creatures. Come to find out some creatures need a dry spell as part of their life cycle. Such is the case of the Sea Monkey.
Part of the genius of the Sea Monkey is that it needs to be dried out for a season in order to thrive the following year. So being in a little packet on a store shelf is not a problem at all. In fact it is necessary. In nature the Sea Monkey or shall we call it by its really name? The Fairy Shrimp! In nature the fairy shrimp begins swimming about with the Spring thaw. In your home when you dump you little "sea monkey eggs" into the water it triggers the next stage of its life cycle. Included in the Sea Monkey packet is algae which is needed for the fairy shrimp to grow.
And know you know the rest of the story.