Upgrade Your Sea-Monkeys To A Sportier Model
I remember staring in wonder at the back page of a Richie Rich comic book (or something equally unfunny) with my best friend. A wildly colorful ad offered Sea-Monkeys; mysterious and miraculous pets that you bring to life by simply adding magic powder to water. Sort of like Tang. The ad claimed that you could train the Sea-Monkeys to do tricks, which sounded really cool. We sent away for a kit, but were concerned that they'd resemble the art in the ad; genitalia-free nudie pink aliens beings, the ladies modestly clad in only a single large bow in her antenna.
We needn't have worried. The result was more like the stuff we fed the goldfish. The fine print of the ad does actually say "Caricature not meant to depict Artemia Salina". I felt a little gypped, but I guess kids wouldn't buy Sea-Monkeys if they knew they weren't that much cuter than having pet silverfish.
Once hatched, the little brine shrimp could be trained to perform a couple of "tricks" - mostly since brine shrimp naturally steer toward light. So you could basically puppeteer them with a flashlight. We never got them to do anything impressive, but maybe that's because we lacked impressive training facilities.
These 1970's commercials show the "ski trials", "cycle race" as well as a more upper crust "fox hunt" for those Sea-Monkeys of better breeding. These elaborate race courses exploit another natural quality of brine shrimp, that they swim against the current. So you and a partner stir up the watery course with special syringes in what may be one of the oddest races ever. More evidence that the people who brought us Sea-Monkeys sure thought up a lot of ways to have fun with pets that are little more than bait. Then again, it beats getting a Pet Rock.