Meet the toughest animal on the planet: The water bear that can survive being frozen or boiled, float around in space and live for 200 years

It's often said cockroaches could withstand a nuclear explosion.

But another creature, dubbed 'nature's greatest survivor,' is even more invincible, and you've probably never even heard of it.

Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are some of the most fascinating animals in world because they can live happily in the most extreme conditions.

While not the most attractive creatures, the small, segmented animals come in many forms - there are more than 900 species of them - and they're found everywhere in the world, from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans.

Boil the 1mm creatures, freeze them, dry them, expose them to radiation and they're so resilient they'll still be alive 200 years later.

Water bears can hack temperatures as low as -457 degrees, heat as high as 357 degrees, and 5,700 grays of radiation, when 10-20 grays would kill humans and most other animals.

The animals can also live for a decade without water and even survive in space.

VIDEO Toughest animal on the planet in 200x magnification

Responses to "Meet the toughest animal on the planet: The water bears (Video)"

  1. seriously, this creature is real? wow, that is the coolest info ever...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.
  3. anne says:


  4. Unknown says:

    Looks like something from Star Trek!

  5. Tardigrades (commonly known as waterbears or moss piglets)[2] are small, water-dwelling, segmented animals with eight legs. They are notable for being one of the most complex of all known polyextremophiles. (An extremophile is an organism that can thrive in a physically or geochemically extreme condition that would be detrimental to most life on Earth.[3][4])
    Tardigrades can withstand temperatures from just above absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water. They can survive pressures greater than any found in the deepest ocean trenches and have lived through the vacuum of outer space. They can survive solar radiation, gamma radiation, ionic radiation— at doses hundreds of times higher than would kill a person. They can go without food or water for nearly 10 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.[citation needed]
    Usually, Tardigrades are 1 millimetre (0.039 in) long when they are fully grown. They are short and plump with 4 pairs of legs, each with 4-8 claws also known as "disks." The animals are prevalent in moss and lichen and, when collected, may be viewed under a very low-power microscope, making them accessible to the student or amateur scientist as well as the professional.[5][6]
    Tardigrades form the phylum Tardigrada, part of the superphylum Ecdysozoa. It is an ancient group, with fossils dating from 530 million years ago, in the Cambrian period.[7] The first tardigrades were discovered by Johann August Ephraim Goeze in 1773. Since 1778, over 500 new tardigrade species have been found.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why did you feel the need to repeat the info again?

  7. Demfatale says:

    To Anonymous: Karmaemilysmom did not "repeat" the information. This wonderful person took the time to go to Wikipedia, find an even more enhanced description of the creature and its history as a known species, copied it, came back to this page and pasted it for the curious reader. Anyone who read the two bits of information would know that.

  8. Anonymous says:

    In the background you can hear a mother and her chidren.......not in a kab?

  9. StuRoss says:

    teacher and students on field trip perhaps

  10. Anonymous says:

    It's nice to know that I can learn something new every day. Karmaemilysmom: Incredible, informational research ... Well done & Thanks, Pam Adams (Facebook).

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