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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sea-Monkey Love

I have a confession to make regarding a certain small obsession I've harbored for six years or so.  There are only a few select visitors to my home who have noticed this, and even fewer who understand the truth behind the apparent obsession:

 I am the Queen of the Sea-Monkeys.

My Kingdom resides in the breakfast nook, on our windowsills. My briney subjects enjoy the view of the bird feeder, and they particularly like a move closer to the African Violets when the flowers are in bloom.

When I was a kid, Sea-Monkeys were advertised in my favorite comic books...

 Sea-Monkeys® are a true miracle of nature. They exist in suspended animation inside their tiny eggs for many years. The instant-life crystals, in which the eggs are enclosed, preserve their viability and help to extend still further their un-hatched life span! Sea-Monkeys are real Time-Travelers asleep in biological time capsules for their strange journey into the future!
As a science fiction fiend myself, I was desperate to bring my own adorable naked pink family of Sea-Monkey time travelers to life!  Unfortunately, the cat often knocked them over and drank them. Once they sort of boiled in the sun and never grew bigger than specks.  They were a grand disappointment.

Then, wonder of wonders, at Christmas time I found a little kit for sale at Wal-Mart ($4.95). DH was kind enough to shake his head in bewilderment (he does this quite a bit) and let me wrap the kit up for myself from Santa as I insisted the kids would LOVE it, but I would be the only one who would properly follow the instructions to grow them. (Amazing how we forget the disappointments of childhood.)

Christmas Evening I began the process. Within days I had specks, and soon little pink... well they look like a cross between brine shrimp, lobsters & spermatozoa. The females have little egg pouch things and the males have little beards.  They all have little beady eyes. They chase each other around pin one another and make a lot of love.

As a kid, I dreamed about what the Sea-Monkeys would look like and imagined the conversations we would hold. As an adult, I can appreciate the science and fun behind growing  real-live creatures from a pinch of old dust.    

Truly there are benefits to being a grown up and having the opportunity to buy what you want.  As my citizens grew and I realized the success of my Kingdom, I sent away to Sea-Monkey.com for the light up tank top and packets of Grow Quickly, Sea Crystals, Banana Treat, Sea Medic, and extra plasma. ($24.50)

Being Queen of the Sea-Monkeys does come with it's share of responsibility and tragic circumstance.  Once, my mom, in amazement at the size and voracity of my Kingdom, held it to the light and cracked the tank. She felt really bad and tried to suck the little citizens out of the carpet with my Sea-Monkey Aqua Leash, 

But it was too late.  Fortunately part of the Sea-Monkey miracle is that the green goop in the tank is full of eggs and a Good Queen can re-populate her kingdom from this Sea-Monkey Salad.  So, though tragic and now known as the Ooma's Murderous Rampage, the Kingdom rose from the carpet fibers.

This summer, my citizens began dropping like flies. Curling up into little balls they sank to the bottom and began growing shady green shrouds which quickly morphed into an inch of furry gunge, which was then fed upon by the seemingly healthy, who soon fell.  My BFF put it best when she said "Like the citizens of Paris during the plague, the continuing lack of sanitation caused the spread of death, your Sea Monkeys are like rats feeding on dead bodies you know?" 

As Queen I researched my options, and learned I should not feed the Kingdom until the green dissipated. However, the stuff was gross and after a few months I bit the bullet and used a plastic fork to peel it out. Like green jello left uncovered in the fridge, the stuff stripped out of the tank. I removed the corpses and noted just two tiny monkeys swimming in the brine.  My monarchian choice was well rewarded by a slew of hatchlings and the grown females in the photos above.   

When I was a kid, waiting for days and days to see what would come of following the instructions and losing interest when nothing ultimately filled my expectations, I never dreamed I would grow up one day to appreciate the wait, or the results.  But I did.  

I am the Queen of the Sea-Monkeys. And they are cool. 

Look, you can even order this wicked Sea-Monkey bobble head.  Some things are just worth the wait.

Best wishes,


  1. I would poke fun, but I still read comics.

  2. One day Aunt Becca will send TayTay some little guys!