Were Sea Monkeys real or was it the biggest scheme in the history of mankind?  We have Harold von Braunhut to thank for the product pop culture knows as Sea Monkeys. He developed the Sea Monkey concept in 1957.  Maybe he was trying to come up with something to take down Ant farms that had been popularized the year before.

Braunhut originally called Sea Monkeys 'Instant Life' but changed the name in 1962.  Sea Monkeys were nothing more than brine shrimp.  Braunhut thought he'd call them monkeys due to their long tails.  Many purchasers were disappointed by the dissimilarity, and by the short lifespan of the animals, myself included.

The concept, for those of you not old enough to remember, was to empty the packet labelled 'Purified Water' into water.  The packet was simply salt and brine shrimp eggs.  After 24 hours, one was to empty the contents labelled 'Instant Life Eggs' to the day old water.  The second packet contained eggs, yeast, borax, soda, salt and sometimes a dye.  The brine shrimp eggs from the first packet, which had been in the water 24 hours, start to hatch making it look like the eggs in the second packet were hatching instantly.  'Growth Food', containing yeast and spirulina was then added every few days.

So we were all duped!  Taken for a ride.  Had.  They were SHRIMP!

[Via:  Wikipedia, Youtube]