mind-blowing what exists just beyond our vision. does this little guy look tough?
these images are of a microscopic creature called a water bear, or tardigrade… which despite its fuzzy-sounding name is one of the toughest animals on the planet.
their appearance (eight chubby legs, round, bulgy body, and probe-like head) doesn’t at all suggest their weird resilience: they are virtually indestructible. they can withstand being boiled, frozen, squeezed under pressure, or desiccated. they can be completely dried out for years, then come back to life as if nothing happened. recently scientists dried out 3,000 of these tiny creatures and fired them into space to see if they could withstand cosmic rays, a near vacuum, and freezing cold temperatures. they survived, making them the first animals to survive exposure in space without protection.
talk about tough. these things are crazy.
(sources: BBCnature.com, dailymail.co.uk, wired.com)