Once again, scientists find out that organisms bearly visible with the naked eye are much stronger than expected. Creatures living underwater had always been capturing the attention of experts, and what the German zoologist Johann August Ephraim Goeze called ‘little water bears’ back in 1773 are deserving all the praise now.
Goeze was talking about Tardigrades, the sea creatures known colloquially as water bears or moss piglets. According to a new article posted on LiveScience.com, the little animals can even survive a high-speed gunshot.
Tardigrades can survive being shot from a gun
Since Tardigrades are extremely small creatures, usually measuring about 0.5 mm long when fully grown, it would be a bit too difficult to directly aim at them with a gun. Instead, a group of scientists from the University of Kent from the UK concluded that the micro-animals could survive being shot from a high-speed gun.
The researchers involved in the study fed the tardigrades and then froze them into a ‘tun state’ hibernation mode. This made their metabolism decrease to 0.1% their normal rate. The researchers fired the critters out of a ‘two-stage light gas gun’. The conclusion was that the marine creatures were able to survive collisions of about 3,000 feet per second.
It’s nothing new for scientists that tardigrades are capable of withstanding extreme conditions. Some species of these little animals are capable of coping with temperatures such as -272.15°C, while others can survive even under the heat of 150°C. Very few organisms living on Earth are capable of withstanding such extreme temperatures, and the animal world shows us once more that humans are incapable of incredible abilities that other organisms possess.
The new findings were published in the journal Astrobiology.