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!

2. These guys are super tiny!

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

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

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

Just keep living, just keep swimming.

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

It wants to be tickled … with optical tweezers!

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Secret Asian Man Comic / Via

Hmm … now that you mention it …

11. Isn’t it adorable?

So pudgy!


H2O lovin’

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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