In this paper, synthesis and swelling behavior of a novel superabsorbent hydrogel based on kappa carrageenan (κC) and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) was investigated. To achieve partially hydrolyzed κC-PAN hydrogel, physical mixture of κC and PAN was hydrolyzed by NaOH solution. During alkaline hydrolysis, the nitrile groups of PAN are converted to a mixture of hydrophilic carboxamide and carboxylate groups follow by in situ crosslinking of the grafted PAN chains. The reaction variables affecting on the swelling capacity of the hydrogel were systematically optimized to achieve a hydrogel with swelling capacity as high as possible. Under the optimized conditions concluded, super swelling hydrogel with the ability of water absorption up to 3260 g/g (water/dry hydrogel powder) has been prepared. Swelling measurements of the synthesized hydrogels was carried out in various salt solutions and solutions with different pH. The results indicate that the hydrogels have good pH sensitivity and pH-reversible property between pH 2 and pH 8.