This month, our vintage Queen, Saskia Ericson digs deep into her treasure trove of retro goodies and unearths some fun creatures: the Sea Monkeys! 

"We’ve been chatting about all things UNDER THE SEA recently, so let’s dive into the amazing world of Sea Monkeys. 
Marketed as ‘instant pets’ Sea Monkeys are actually a specially-bred species of Brine Shrimp, that can survive in a state of suspended animation until revived with water! They were advertised in comic books in the 60s and 70s. The early illustrations were by Joe Orlando, an artist for Marvel and later Vice President of DC Comics and Associate Publisher of Mad magazine. 

The ads promised you could train your Sea Monkeys to ‘do tricks like a pack of friendly trained seals’. Although they actually *were* attracted to torchlight, I remember being ever-so-slightly disappointed as mine refused to obey me.  They were fed from little sachets of nutrients. Here’s an original pack from my collection – I knew it’d come in handy one day!

As well as figurines and a video game, there was also a TV series. The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys aired in 1992, and featured a professor who accidentally enlarges three Sea Monkeys to human size. The show was produced by the Chiodo Bros, and incorporated stop motion, giant props, puppets and CGI.  

Sea Monkeys ad 1978. Via Anorak..jpg

The marketing genius who brought us Sea Monkeys, Harold von Braunhut, also invented X-ray Specs, which allowed you to ‘see through’ clothing!
The Pixies released a tribute track to Sea Monkeys in 1991 called ‘Palace of the Brine’. 
400 million Sea Monkeys were sent into space with John Glenn in 1998. Unaffected by their journey, they hatched 8 weeks later!"

by Saskia Ericson