Water Bears Are The Most Durable Known Organism In The Universe

These little guys can survive in almost any condition.

Tardigrades a.k.a. Water Bears have been found everywhere on this globe such as tropical rain forests, mountaintops and deep below the sea. They have even been found in the freezing environment of Antarctic. These eight-legged micro-animals are able to survive temperatures as low as 1 Kelvin or −458 °F; −272 °C and as high as about 420 K or 300 °F; 150 °C. Let’s put that into perspective, 0 Kelvin is absolute 0. You cannot get any colder than that. Now we all can relate to an extremely hot summer day, now multiple that by 3 and that’s what a Tardigrade can withstand.

Along with the Tardigrade’s remarkable temperature-resistant abilities they can survive pressures six times greater than the deepest parts of the ocean. That’s like you getting crushed at a PSI of 15,750 6 times over! If that’s not enough they can also survive radiation that can kill a man 10 times over and survive the vacuum space. Oh yeah, and they can not eat or drink for three decades. I think you get the point that these little guys are hardy.

So what’s their secret?

They dehydrate themselves to the point where they are only 3% water. They enter a reversible suspension of their metabolism allowing them to survive a slew of dangerous environments for very long periods of time.

Learn more about the Water Bear with this video by Vice.

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