Unknown. Sea Monkeys were “invented” in 1957 by American mail-order marketer and inventor, Harold von Braunhut. Incidentally, he also invented the infamous “X-Ray Specs,” both products that can be found advertised inside millions of comic books. The invention of “Amazing Sea-Monkeys” was one year after ant farms were put on the market. Sea Monkeys, originally named “Instant Life,” are actually Brine Shrimp, but called “monkeys” because of their long tails. These cultish, grow-your-own pets have been referenced in many popular television shows such as The Simpsons and South Park. From September 1992 to August 1993, there was a Saturday morning cartoon on CBS called The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys, created and voiced by Howie Mandel. Finally, Sea Monkeys became space monkeys when astronaut John Glenn took them into space on the Space Shuttle Discovery on October 29, 1998. Rest assured that the sea monkeys survived the nine day space flight.
How to Celebrate
Today is a good day to play with your sea monkeys. You could also listen to some monkey music like “Monkey Gone to Heaven” by the Pixies. You can read Curious George at the Aquarium by Margret and H. A. Rey — or watch the video for Jack Johnson’s song, “Upside Down”, written for the Curious George movie, which also shows the troublesome monkey under water.
Personally, I am also a fan of monkeys. I have Office Monkey figures on my desk at work, I am co-owner of a web design business called Aqua Monkey Designs, have a tattoo of three linked monkeys from the Barrel of Monkeys game, and I am the lead singer/bassist for a new rock band called Punk Munky.
To celebrate this day, we selected the 1995 Pepsi Surfing Monkey Can from Mexico. This “Special Edition 4 of 4″ can is part of the Pepsi Monkey set. On it there is a picture of a monkey in the sea wearing sunglasses, a hat, shirt, and bathing suit while surfing on a yellow surfboard and holding a can of Pepsi in his right monkey hand.
Happy National Sea Monkey Day (5/16)!
Photos used by permission of CanMuseum.com