Have you ever heard of an animal that can endure the vacuum of space, live in volcanoes and survive up to 30 years without food? If the answer is no, then you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing a tardigrade. Although not visible to the naked eye, these microscopic organisms are active water-dwelling creatures that have gained the title of being the most indestructible and resilient animal on the planet. These tiny eight-legged invertebrates are also referred to as water bears.
According to National Geographic, researchers who investigate the effects of various apocalyptic scenarios believe that “tardigrades are still expected to avoid extinction until our sun swells up and becomes a red giant roughly six billion years from now”. It seems as though tardigrades are capable of surviving cataclysmic events that humans and other species on Earth cannot. Researchers believe that these mighty microorganisms have the capacity to survive asteroid impacts, supernovae, and gamma-ray bursts. Tardigrades top the list of indestructible animals on Earth, but Rafael Alves Batista, from the University of Oxford, believes in the possibility “that there are other resilient species examples elsewhere in the universe.”