Word Origin & History
1909 as a heraldic animal, 1964 as a U.S. prop. name for brine shrimp (Artemia salina), which had been used as food for aquarium fish till they began to be marketed as pets by U.S. inventor Harold von Braunhut (d.2003), who also invented "X-Ray Specs" and popularized pet hermit crabs. He began marketing
them in comic book advertisements in 1960 as "Instant Life," and changed the name to Sea Monkeys in 1964, so called for their long tails.