Sea monkeys are nothing but a variety of brine shrimp. This species is famous as pets because they have an ability of entering cryptobiosis, which means they enter into a state of suspended animation. This phenomenon occurs in these shrimp naturally, which allows them to stay in this state up to 50 years. This allows the sea monkey to survive till the ideal conditions appear. Due to this characteristic they are given the term 'instant life', that reflects their instant hatching when the cysts are added to a saltwater medium. This term was given to these shrimp by Harold von Braunhut, who started selling packets eggs of sea monkeys for 49 cents in the year 1957. In the year 1962 von Braunhut changed the name of these shrimp from 'Instant Life' to 'Sea Monkeys', because of their playful monkey-like behavior.
Adding to a Container: You can buy a packet containing instant live eggs for USD 5. Or go for a starter kit that comes around USD 10, that includes the eggs, pet food which is around one year's supply, water purifier, and a feeding spoon. When the eggs are released in a large glass container containing pure water, for the first few weeks they will look just like little pinheads, you can use a magnifying glass to see them. They have a delicate, long body with a small head, small whiskers, and a long pointy tail. After six weeks of their growth, you will see the head more prominently and black, bead-like eyes developed on it, with more defined body whiskers and a long pointy tail. When they are born, they have only one eye. After they start growing they get two more eyes, so in total they have three eyes. But they will lose their third eye when they reach adulthood.
Food: The food for sea monkeys comes with the eggs packet, which is around one year's supply. If you don't have these food packets then you can buy them at a pet store. Every five days feed a tiny spoonful of food to them. It is quite easy to understand if they are full or not, by observing the stripe that is green or brown. They eat algae, so there is no need to clean the tank unless you want to maintain a clean-looking glass tank.
Mating: They can reproduce asexually and sexually. If two sea monkeys are mating then it can go on for days or several weeks at a time. They will be stuck to each other for this interval. The female will carry the egg sac in her stomach, and if the female dies the eggs will get released out of the body. Usually, there are around 20 offspring at a time. The babies will keep swimming a lot to the surface, which is quite natural as they need more oxygen.
Life Span: Due to the new technologies and ultra pure, non-toxic chemicals, the sea monkeys hatch instantly, grow larger, and live longer than they used to. One can expect them to last for 2 years. However, to maintain them long in good health, avoid overfeeding them and keep the water clean. Also, providing oxygen to the tank will help maintain them better.
So, buy a starter packet and add it to a clean water glass tank, and watch how the little sea monkeys hatch from the eggs!