The is a tardigrade, aka water bear. And this little thing can survive the most extreme conditions — boiling heat, freezing temperatures, even the vacuum of space. But what’s so special about this little guy?
Well this microorganism can survive from just above absolute zero, to well above the heat of boiling water. Pressures greater than the deepest point of the ocean by 600%. They can live without food or water for 10 years.
The European Space Agency even sent some tardigrade up to space, under an experiment called TARDIS — tardigrades in space. (Wink face, Doctor Who) Where the results were stunning. Many of them survived the solar radiation, vacuum conditions, freezing temperature, dehydration and other extreme conditions. And.. It didn’t even affect their reproductive behaviors.
So what? It can live in extreme conditions, why does that matter?
Well the tardigrade have showed us that where life can exist, it will exist. Which makes us realize, maybe life doesn’t need to exist under all the conditions we once believed. If tardigrades can exist under these conditions, what about extraterrestrials?
Knowing about the tardigrade, there are so many more possibilities of finding extraterrestrial life. Now its up to time, and the work of our diligent scientists to show us where it exists — I know its hiding out there somewhere!