How Long Do Sea Monkeys Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 5 years

Sea monkey or commonly referred to as brine shrimp is a novelty aquarium pet that is popular all across the globe. These organisms are a gift to people who find the task of having a pet tiresome. Sea monkey was developed by Harold von Braunhut in 1957 in the United States of America.


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Sea monkeys are sold in a bundle containing three pouches of eggs that are intended to be added to water. The bundle also comes with a set of instructions that the manufacturers recommend reading before adding the sea monkeys to the water. In special packages, the bundle also contains supplementary pouches and a small tank.

How Long Do Sea Monkeys Live

How Long Do Sea Monkeys Live?

Sea monkeys is a marketing term for artificially hybridized Artemia. They were developed in laboratories to be sold in different parts of the world. Sea monkeys usually have a life span of 2 years on average.

Many sea monkey sellers claim the modified creatures have an extended lifespan of up to 5 years, although many of them do not survive for that long. These small creatures live in colonies and mostly survive up to a year. Sea monkey owners need to constantly keep on replacing the dead ones with live sea monkeys to maintain a good strength of colonies.

Artemia or brine shrimp has a comparatively much shorter lifespan. They live only for up to 6 months. However, when Artemia genetics is developed to produce sea monkeys, the lifespan increased drastically to at least a year or two because of advanced scientific experiments.

Sea monkeys also called the Artemia NYOS are products of artificial breeding solely produced to be marketed. They were initially called ‘Instant life” because of their unique characteristics. Some of the important characteristics of sea monkeys include:

  • Sea monkeys are derived from crustaceans.
  • They have a tail similar to that of monkeys.
  • Sea monkeys undergo cryptobiosis.
  • Sea monkeys can reproduce both sexually and asexually.
  • Sea monkeys are originally born with an eye, and later develop two more eyes with growth and maturity.
  • They have a translucent body and they breathe through their feathery feet.
  • Sea monkeys are attracted to flashlight beams.

Sea monkeys grow rapidly and may reach maturity at about a week’s age. Under the absence of appropriate conditions for growth, some sea monkeys may take up to six weeks to fully be developed. They usually require minimal maintenance, thereby making them one of the easiest pets to keep.

In summary:

Sea monkeysUp to 5 years
Brine Shrimp Up to 6 months

Why Do Sea Monkeys Live So Long?

Sea monkeys live longer than the brine shrimps as they undergo an advanced process of hybridization that increases their lifespan drastically from 6 months to up to 5 years. As they undergo cryptobiosis, they have the capability of surviving in adverse environmental conditions. Sea monkeys can be sold and marketed because of cryptobiosis that allows them to be packaged in small kits.

Cryptobiosis can be described as a metabolic state wherein the sea monkeys enter an arrested state of growth due to extreme living conditions. Under the correct environmental conditions such as warm temperature, properly oxygenated water, and a healthy diet, these tiny creatures grow up to become completely developed. Sea monkeys exhibit various stages of growth and under the right circumstances, they reach full maturity at the age of 1 week or more.

A sea monkey’s anatomy is not as advanced as other sea creatures. They molt in between every stage of growth. However, their characteristic of living under extreme conditions allows them to have an extended lifespan of up to 5 years in contrast to the brine shrimp that live for only up to 6 months or less.


Sea monkeys are artificially produced pet organisms that exhibit cryptobiosis. They are produced by hybridizing brine shrimps to obtain desirable pet qualities. These creatures were initially developed in the year 1957 and sold in all parts of the world.

Sea monkeys have an average lifespan of 2 years. However, some producers have claimed to have extended their lifespan to up to 5 years. These translucent organisms require minimal attention and survive well in adverse environmental conditions.



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