25 Awesome Facts About Water Bears That Will Blow Your Mind

Posted by , Updated on April 17, 2018


Water bears are some of the toughest microorganisms on the planet. As we’ll soon discover, it takes a lot to destroy them. Also called tardigrades and moss piglets, scientists are still learning more and more about them every day, and it could mean big things in the future. Better understanding the water bears’ resilience and nigh-superpowers could help scientists develop new technologies. Ready to go swimming with these tubby and adorable little creatures? Here are 25 Awesome Facts About Water Bears That Will Blow Your Mind.


They're tiny. They range in size from .002 to .05 inches but don't get much bigger than .04 inches.

tardigradesSource: https://www.livescience.com/57985-tardigrade-facts.html

They have 8 legs with 4 to 8 claws attached to each and were originally named "kleiner Wasserbär," meaning little water bear.

water bearSource: https://steemit.com/steemstem/@katerinaramm/let-s-meet-tardigrate-the-survivor-amazing-creatures-of-the-deep-series

They've been around for a long time...600 million years to be exact. That makes them significantly older than the dinosaurs that first appeared 230 million years ago.

dinosaursSource: http://mentalfloss.com/article/71380/7-tough-facts-about-tardigrades

Food is not exactly a major requirement for water bears. If it wants to, it can go without a good meal for over a decade.

foodSource: http://www.businessinsider.com/tardigrades-facts-water-bear-science-outer-space-2017-10

Water bears can survive water pressure six times greater than the ocean floor and can live through being boiled in alcohol.

boiling waterSource: http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2008/shifflet_bran/WhatElse.htm

Photo: 1. Peter von Bagh, Empty Tardigrades (Public Domain), 2. Bob Blaylock, TardigradeEggsInShedCuticle, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 3. Dmitry Brant, Tardigrade, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 4. NPS.gov (Public Domain), 5. MaxPixel.com (Public Domain), 6. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 7. Roͬͬ͠͠͡͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠sͬͬ͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠aͬͬ͠͠͠͠͠͠͠ Menkman, A waterbear / Tardigrade through a microscope, CC BY 2.0, 8. Peter von Bagh, A running Tartigrade, CC BY 2.0, 9. Tommy from Arad, Tardigrada -b, CC BY 2.0 , 10. Willow Gabriel, Goldstein Lab, Hypsibiusdujardini, CC BY-SA 2.5 , 11. Takuma Hashimoto, Daiki D. Horikawa,Yuki Saito,Hirokazu Kuwahara,Hiroko Kozuka-Hata, Tadasu Shin-I, Yohei Minakuchi,Kazuko Ohishi,Ayuko Motoyama,Tomoyuki Aizu,Atsushi Enomoto,Koyuki Kondo, Sae Tanaka,Yuichiro Hara, Shigeyuki Koshikawa,Hiroshi Sagara,Toru Miura,Shin-ichi Yokobori,Kiyoshi Miyagawa,Yutaka Suzuki et al., Tardigrade Nature ncomms12808-f1, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 12. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 13. Frank Fox, Mikrofoto.de-Baertierchen5, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE , 14. Barksdale Air Force Base (Public Domain), 15. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 16. Bob Goldstein and Vicky Madden, UNC Chapel Hill, Waterbear, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 17. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 18. PxHere.com (Public Domain), 19. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 20. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 21. MaxPixel.com (Public Domain), 22. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 24. Schokraie E, Warnken U, Hotz-Wagenblatt A, Grohme MA, Hengherr S, et al. (2012), SEM image of Milnesium tardigradum in active state - journal.pone.0045682.g001-2, CC BY 2.5 , 25. Frank Fox, Mikrofoto.de-Baertier18, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

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