The Dark Past of Sea Monkeys

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This is the story of how a tiny, magical creature was transformed into a cultural phenomenon by inventor, marketing genius and complicated eccentric Harold von Braunhut. Full of fun facts (both charming and disturbing), Just Add Water is a colorful short film about a half-century of marketing directly to children, the force of nostalgia in pop culture, and an unlikely meeting of flim-flam and hard science. A film by Penny Lane. This Great Big Film was made in collaboration with our friends at CNN Films. SUBSCRIBE: Follow us behind the scenes on Instagram: Make our acquaintance on Facebook: Give us a shout on Twitter: Come hang with us on Vimeo: Visit our world directly: Great Big Story is a video network dedicated to the untold, overlooked & flat-out amazing. Humans are capable of incredible things & we're here to tell their stories. When a rocket lands in your backyard, you get in.

Comments from Youtube

Permore : It's like a buzzfeed but not cancer and a million times better

ZOMBONA : In 78 I bought some. They didn't live very long, about 10 days, except for one named Steve. He lived for almost 2 years and grew to about an inch long. When I came home from school he would go crazy to see me. If I opened the door real slow and peeked around he was slow and seemed bored, but as soon as I showed myself, he'd flip-out. Come right up to the glass, to my finger, dart around and come back, again and again. We used to watch Whacky Races together and he really liked Mutley. Seems silly to say it but I could almost see him smiling. I was heart-broken when he passed. I buried him in a matchbox in a place where we didn't plant flowers. I go through that part of London sometimes (Wembley) and I'll still drive past our old house and say a quiet hello to that little fella. God I miss him.

Kara with gun : I always wondered why my sea monkeys kept calling me spic and raising their right hand in the air whenever I approached. Thank you for clearing that up.

Star fire : *I Did Nazi this coming.......*

JMS7 : I'm surprised there's never been a Sea Monkey movie.

Queen Molly : "He put the eggs in packet number one, and blue dye in packet number two." "Haha, that sneaky bastard!" "He was also a racist nazi" "...Oh..."

DarianFisher : You win Youtube. You kept showing this damn video in my recommended list and I finally watched it even though it's almost a 2 year old video.

Potato Nugget : Honesly, it’s hard to find comments that aren’t 5 paraghraphs long.

metalsabatico : he was a genius scam artist. how is that marvelous?

W h e e z e : Love how every child hood memory has to have a dark past.

Mike Anderson : Strange that he was a white supremacist when he was totally fine with colored sea monkeys.

cloudanimal : Reading comments before watching to make sure it isn’t going to ruin my life but I can’t understand any of the comments

Stunami : The southpark episode on this is a classic.

raven lord : Well, that escalated quickly.

lauren t : *”The Dark Past of Sea monkeys”* alright time to get off the internet edit- 1.5K likes??? This is the most fame I will ever get

Graphomite : Interesting video, though I find it a little misleading that the narrators speak as though we're supposed to be astonished by this story about a rippoff artist being a bad guy all along. The dude was a snake oil salesman. The fact he was also a nazi sympathizer just makes him an even worse person.

Halpin2006 : I almost bought these Sea Monkeys too when i was 7 yrs old, but my super-smart mother said "Those are just tiny shrimp eggs. They don't look anything like the picture. " She was so right. She also told me not to buy the toy soldiers that also were advertised in the comics. If their foot locker was only 4 in long, then the toy soldiers were only 1 cm tall. My mom was way before her time. Even knowing about sexual harassment back in the 1970s when nobody else really cared. You see? Joseph Goebbels was right! Even in America, most people only read or listen to the mass media! And those who read books and know better know that the status quo will never listen to the smart maverick, but always listen to the charasmatic celebrity on TV! Thank you for proving this, Mr Ted Turner!

PetHub : Most 5 year olds have enough common sense to know that the pictures cannot possibly be reality. I remember not being not surprised by their true appearance.

Eric Lurio : Harold Von Brounhut's last name didn''t have a "von" in it. He added that after he became a Nazi. His father was a rabbi and his mother was my great aunt. When we found out that was doing that in the New York Times and my entire extended family freaked out.

colorbanditblk : Lmao jeez, when they said “things get weird” I didn’t think “racist nazi” was gonna be up there

Parzival : Oh wow the guy who made them was a racist, huh? Well that sucks. I’m still gonna go buy some new ones for nostalgic purposes. I don’t care who made them, they’re still fun.

Marshy_Okami x3 : question: why is this in my recomendation? this was made in 2016. IT IS 2018.

Hospitable : I'e only now realized that life is a lie (at least for sea monkeys)

MummyChunks : Kids love pets. Just pour water, and watch them eventually starve to death!

Halle Harrington : So I was expecting a gross reveal of how sea monkeys are made with abuse, but instead this should be titled the dark truth about the inventor of sea monkeys.

Susan Fischer : the Sea Monkeys are the Sea Monkeys!!!

Zo Ri : I went to an aquarium 2 months ago (Oct. 2018) and they had these at the gift shop. I had them as a kid growing up so the nostalgia drove me to buy them again. I did packet #2 on halloween, (I didnt know about the trick until now, wish I never bothered waiting lol) now its early December and my "seamonkeys" are actually doing really well! I bought them a different tank because the other was so boring and now it's been a few weeks and a few are (almost?) full grown and and I've even spotted some mating and other fresh babies swimming around. It's sad the history of the "inventor " of these guys but it's truly fun to watch them grow and reproduce and swim and eat and do their little shrimp thing. It's calming to watch them, like a normal fish tank. Which speaking of, if these guys keep at the rate they're going, some will soon become my bettas fresh food.

Rick Feith : Boy's Life Magazine. The back was ALWAYS the best part. Build your very own hovercraft, Smoking Pet and Whoopie Cushions

Bill Brennan : Everyone has skeletons in their closet, there are no exceptions. His racism doesn't cast a dark shadow on sea monkeys. People are capable of both good and evil.

Mastious : Honestly I was expecting a dark story on how sea monkey's where genetically modified NOT nazi money making scheme. Jesus talk about a plot twist.

Sirpumpkinalot : Moral of the story, never get on CNN’s bad side

I have fallen and i can't reach my keg : Intro almost fooled me. Sounded like "Witch Queen Of New Orleans", for a few seconds.

JAffacakeSON BLAHA : Wow so dramatic!! Load of horseshit. Thanks for wasting 10 minutes because I'm *smart* enough to watch at 1.5 speed

John Millard : Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

Ian Miscenich : Beginning of video: “this isn’t dark.” 12 minutes in: “oh.” Edit: Thank you for 1.7k likes!

Mr.agent 47 : That was really cool. Great animation too you really captured the spirit of the time.

George Zee : The actor who voices Harold von Braunhut sounds just like George Carlin

ryan burgeson : nothing should spend it's life in a watch.

Richard K : Wow-How could a Jewish man embrace a white supremacist group? Mind boggling.

LIyre : “The second packet actually only contained blue dye!” Me: Whaat? That’s crazy! “Oh and he was also a nazi and member of the KKK.”

Vapress Random : 0:01 Yo what's with the spongebob backround songs

Illegally blind : The narration of the 60s guy is super cool, with the grain and accent and the manurisms


SWLWW Chase : Woah, that quote actually made me think 😕

lettuce child : Personally, I think the sea monkey mascots are horrifying and the actual shrimp are adorable.

Rakha Abhyasa : I love sea monkeys or brine shrimps AS FOOD FOR MY NEWLY HATCHED FISH FRY

Thomas Ronayne : I named mine Romeo & Anastasia, they later died after I gave them champagne :(

Rodov1968 : The jew who invented Sea Monkeys gave loads of the money to Neo Nazis. <'nasal tv accent'> "There is overwhelming evidence". Therefore here's none. Wha...?

shrekt1000 : and somehow they ended up in Ms. Choksondik's stomach??