STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists discovered that a cataclysmic space event would not wipe off life on Earth completely. There is one animal which can survive even the harshest conditions ever imagined – the tardigrade. Also known as water bears, these animals have been put to the toughest tests and proved are indestructible.
Tardigrades can survive mostly anything
Scientists performed dozens of experiments on these creatures and found how they were able to survive when other animals could have been long dead. After being frozen for thirty years, they still could produce offspring.
Also, NASA reported finding tardigrades clinging to the International Space Station. Even if they stood exposed to the space vacuum, they were still alive. This brought a lot of interest into the creatures, and researchers wondered if we could borrow this incredible survival mechanism. They mapped the water bear’s genome to find where the protection comes from and see if it works on humans.
This gives us hope in our quest for extraterrestrial life
Then, scientists decided to put tardigrades to one more test. They were curious if the creatures could survive to three space catastrophes with the potential of destroying life on Earth. The three scenarios included asteroid collisions, supernovas in our planet’s vicinity, and gamma ray bursts.
Asteroids and supernovas are deadly for people, but it seems tardigrades would go unharmed if such scenarios befell Earth. This gives us a small glimmer of hope. Even if the only survivors were these microscopic pig-resembling creatures, we should be happy to know life is hard to wipe out after all.
This prospect is encouraging especially in our quest for alien life. If life cannot be completely destroyed, we still have a chance to find some survivors left on some of the newly discovered exoplanets. All the details on the impossibility to kill these creatures are to be found in the journal Nature.
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