It’s a microscopic creature that only grows to 1.5 millimeters across, at most – but it can survive just about anything. In fact, The Dodo recently highlighted the tiny critter calling it “basically an indestructible badass.”
National GeographicThe world’s most tenacious creature can live in boiling water, solid ice, and the intense radiation of space. It can survive a decade in a desert, without a drop of water to drink, and in the deepest trenches of the sea.
When faced with extreme conditions, the water bear can dry out completely, replacing almost of the water in their bodies with a sugar called trehalose. As a result, they manage to survive environments that would otherwise kill them.
In fact, it’s the only animal on earth that has ever survived the vacuum of space.
National GeographicDue to its remarkable qualities and rather bizarre looks, this creature is starting to become a viral sensation. Not only has it been featured on The Dodo, but it has made its way onto a number of news outlets and most social media networks.
One of the more recent findings about the water bear is that 17.5 percent of its genetic material came from other organisms, including bacteria, plant and fungi.
While sharing genetic material isn’t entirely uncommon among microorganisms, The Dodo writes, according to a new study, the tardigrade has nearly twice as much foreign DNA that has ever been found in an animal before.
This little guy may be beyond strange, but also incredibly cool, don’t you think?