Meet The Most Badass Microorganism On The Planet

Tardigrades — more commonly known as “water bears” — are teeny, tiny creatures that are not only cute, but badass. These puffy, eight-legged organisms can survive extreme heat, cold, starvation and even the vacuum of space.

1. This is a tardigrade.

Getty Images / Via

Hello there!

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2. These guys are super tiny!

Tardigrades are usually just 1 millimeter (0.039 inch) long when they are fully grown.

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3. These water-dwelling microorganisms are also called “water bears” because of they walk like a lumbering bear.

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4. Some live in the Arctic. You can freeze them — and tardigrades will just keep living!

Just keep living, just keep swimming.

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5. You can find them in the Sahara Desert. Boil them — and they won’t die!

It wants to be tickled … with optical tweezers!

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6. Yeah, that’s right. Tardigrades are extremophiles.

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7. Radiation levels that would kill humans doesn’t even phase them. Talk about resilience!

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8. Dry them out. Wait years. Then add a drop of water — and it’s alllliiivvveee!

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9. They’ve survived being launched into space too.

Actually, unlike those wusses Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, water bears don’t need fancy, high-tech space suits.

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Water bear was like, “Halp!” But then realized, “Dude, I got this.”

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10. There’s a theory that water bears are actually aliens!

Secret Asian Man Comic / Via
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Hmm … now that you mention it …

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11. Isn’t it adorable?

So pudgy!

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H2O lovin’

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12. Long live tardigrades! (Not that they need our help to survive a nuclear apocalypse or second Ice Age.)

Water bear don’t care. Water bear don’t give a shit.

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