On May 16, the US celebrates its national day of Sea-Monkeys (National Sea-Monkey Day). Please what? Outside of the United States, very few people are likely to know what sea monkeys are. The calendar of curious holidays from all over the world provides a remedy with the following article about the special day of the small tadpole shrimp. Hurray for little aquatic beings.
Who started National Sea-Monkey Day?
Unfortunately, as with so many other animal holidays in the United States, National Sea-Monkey Day seems to have its origins completely unknown. So in the course of my research I couldn’t find out who started it and since when exactly it has been celebrated in the USA.
Accordingly, it is not surprising that there seems to be no real reason for choosing the date on May 16. Any content-related references to International Metalheads Day , which is being celebrated at the same time , the I-like-Trees Day (National Love a Tree Day) or the Biographers Day ( National Biographer’s Day) or the National Barbecue Day (BBQ Day ) does not seem to exist.
Who Invented the Sea Monkey? Harold von Braunhut discovers instant pets
The American Harold Nathan Braunhut (1926 – 2003), better known under the name Harold von Braunhut, became famous in his homeland primarily through the invention and sale of two things: On the one hand, the so-called X-Ray Specs (X-ray glasses ) and on the other hand said Sea Monkeys.
He has been selling both since the 1950s through the mail order company of his company Transcience Corporation, which mainly advertised its products in comic books. The target group were mainly children and young people. But this is about the Amazing Sea-Monkeys – the official product name – and insofar a few details about their history (see also the article on the international Geek Pride Day on May 25th) .
Pygmy monkeys, salt crabs and the Amazing Sea Monkeys as a Yps gimmick
In 1957, von Braunhut had the decisive idea to fill a niche in the market: so-called instant pets, which were sent in bags and brought to life by the recipient by adding water and food. And although the idea has something for itself, instant pets shouldn’t necessarily be imagined as cats, rabbits or dogs out of the bag. Rather, the Transcience Corporation sold small crabs, more precisely their eggs, under the label Amazing Sea-Monkeys.
The entire marketing tried to sell these sea monkeys, according to the German translation, as human-like pygmy monkeys that live under water. In fact, they were extremely robust, small crustaceans of the genus Artemia nyos or Artemia salina, which are also known as saline crabs. But even if this led to great disappointment with the actual result for many children, it did not change the worldwide success of Amazing Sea-Monkeys.
In Germany, the Sea-Monkeys became known primarily through the youth magazine Yps (Egmont Ehapa Verlag), in which they were sold several times as a supplement (gimmick) under the name Tadpole Shrimp since the mid-1970s.
With this in mind: Have a great National Sea-Monkey Day to all of you.