Posted by: NotAScientist | September 16, 2008

You just can’t keep water bears down…

The tardigrade, better known as a ‘water bear’, has become my new favorite animal.

Why, you may ask? What makes them so special? How are they better than my favorite animal?

Simple. Your favorite can’t survive in the vacuum of space.

From Discover Magazine:

Tiny invertebrates known as water bears are in one sense far tougher than humans who can crush hundreds of them underfoot: A new study has shown that the water bears can survive the vacuum and radiation of space. The water bears, who are more properly known as tardigrades, were launched into orbit aboard a European Space Agency satellite, where they were exposed for 10 days to the cold, low pressure, and intense radiation of space before being brought back down to Earth to study.

Researchers already knew that water bears were unusually tough critters. [T]hey prefer to spend their days in water, perhaps on a beach or a dewy patch of moss. But when the water dries up, the millimetre-long โ€˜bearsโ€™ can contract into a dried-out state and survive like that for years. They are also one of the few animals that survive year-round on continental Antarctica, and are among the most radiation-resistant animals known [Nature News].

Not only that, but they’re just so darn cute!

And for you creationists out there, I have just one question. If god intelligently designed humans, why didn’t he give us the power to survive in space?

The extra limbs would come in handy too.



  1. yeah i heard about these guys a while ago, and they’re ultra impressive. most of the ideas in regards to thier impressive survivability apply directly to bacteria, which can live inside rocks in a non-metabolic stasis of sorts, meaning life is damn near impossible to kill, a huge benifit to athiests who want to adress the problem of limited species, and on the evolutionary side in regards speciation after all the mass extinctions. maybe i’m just rambling though ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Hi there, Morsecode,
    I have two questions. Is that it’s head or it’s butt?

    Also, I just watched your vid about your dad.
    How’s he… and you… doing?

  3. I believe that is its head. Or the rough equivalent of its head.

    My dad is doing much better, thanks. And I’m doing fine.

  4. glad to hear it. I bear the scars of a similar event in my own life.

    -internet pastor

  5. That is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. It looks like it really is a bear, except with an extra pair of feet, in a space suit with no eyeholes. Seriously! It looks like the suit is indented where his eye sockets actually are, but someone forgot to cut holes. Very strange.

    God sure is creative! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. what the hell is up with the product placement? and…*sigh* it’s evolution that did all the work

  7. Rather sensitive, aren’t we? I meant no offense to you or to your beliefs. You put great faith in evolution and I put great faith in God. Think me the world’s greatest idiot if you wish, but I never said anything rude to YOU for what you believe.

    (By the way, I’m not selling anything.)

  8. i never said you were selling anything. it’s a big coke sign. That’s all.
    Evolution is supported by the emperical facts, faith has nothing to do with it.
    By the way, i like your description lol. it’s as if a bear and a caterpillar were spliced together lol.

  9. Ah – I see. I just like Coke a lot! And I like their old slogan, “The real thing,” so that’s why I picked it.

    And faith has a lot to do with it! You see the evidence and believe because the evidence convinced you.

  10. he is right, we do have evidence and a data trail that we can trace all the way back to the beginning of life when we were just small single-celled oranisms. the question he cannot answer, however, is how did that first single-celled ancestor of ours get here? was there a divine intervention?

  11. sorry jim. There are many possible avenues that would have allowed for protolife to form. But even if you utilize a “god of the gaps” fallacy, and just happen to be correct, said god couldn’t possibly be ID’ed as one of our current dieties (maybe god did die after all?). But as soon as the mere possibility exists for God to be unnecessary, he is. Therefore, He wouldn’t be God.

    But, back to the subject of abiogenesis, look at the Wikepedia page and look for cdk007’s videos on Youtube. Or i guess you could “zip your mouth, wear a blind fold, and live in a cave. Or the alternative… *cocks gun*”

  12. Physicists now say the big bang came from a collision of 11 dimensional membranes. Who or what made the membranes? Tardigrades?

  13. They aren’t NOW saying that, and only some string theorists have been backing that idea in the first place. Who or what made God, if he’s going to be the answer? Isn’t that absurd? “Oh, God has always existed?” Based on what?
    Isn’t it somewhat anaolgous to reciting pi backwards when you insist God must have alwasy existed?

  14. thanks for the Water Bear post! Aren’t they great? My daughter’s Destination Imagination team calls themselves the Water Bears, took first place in the state last week, and is now headed to Global Finals in Tennessee! As for God, well, if there is one I doubt it’s all that impressed with the actions of some of its supposed faithful. Me, I just think most our species should do what the Water Bears do and keep on having fun with life.

  15. Hahaha here here Cecile! ๐Ÿ™‚

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