What can a Tardigrade “Water Bear” Survive?

Tardigrade Survival

Photo Credit: http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=image&tid=342696&pic=114342

Made famous by Animal Planet’s “The Most eXtreme” TV series, the Tardigrade has garnered a reputation as being the most indestructible life form on Planet Earth. But, how resilient are these adorable Moss-Piglets really? The JABDE team of insect collectors (fresh off their assignment “Will Quantum Computing make Pokemon a Reality”) has teamed up with the NFL Tardigrade Research Institute to identify what will actually destroy these cute juggernauts.

1: The Vacuum of Space

Tardigrades in Space
DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS), CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Changes to image were made

The first environment we subjected our pack of Tardigrades was the Vacuum of Space. This begs the question “how did you test the experiment when the US Government hasn’t replace the Space Shuttle Program?” That’s where our old friend and Insectophile Elon Musk comes in. In May of 2002, Elon projected the inevitable end of the Shuttle Program (2011) and feared there’d no longer be a public means of putting bugs into space. Thus, SpaceX was born and we’d no longer need to worry about the future of space travel and entomology. From their first prototype to the Falcon 9, SpaceX has prepared the world for understanding that just because you think it’s fun to put bugs in model rockets, that doesn’t make you a future psychopath or the “weird kid”… Anyways, yeah, a tardigrade can survive the vacuum of space; Elon tweeted about it and illegally boosted his net worth.

2: Underwater Volcanic Vents

Tardigrades at an underwater volcano
DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS), CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Changes to image were made

From high to low, we then took our subjects to an equally destructive environment, the extreme heat and pressure from volcanic vents a the bottom of the ocean. With the help of James Cameron and his fleet of submersibles, the JABDE team released the tardigrades into a pool of scaly-foot gastropods where they proceeded to have one hell of a party. Luckily it was made complete when Mr. Cameron switched the submarine speakers from the Avitar soundtrack to “Get Low” by Lil Jon & The Eastside Boys.

3. The Wim Hof

Tardigrades with Wim Hof
Aad Villerius (www.flickr.com/photos/daaynos ) from OudBeijerland, Netherlands., CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia CommonsDataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS), CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Changes to image were made

Luckily, this last winter season we had a lot of Polar Vortexes and a rise in Tik Tok videos of celebrities eating. The team combined these two natural phenomenons and shipped the tardigrades to Vancouver Canada in February. There we had The Wim Hof eat them while chilling in a frozen pond and blasting “Laxed” by Jawsh 685. Not only did they survive the ordeal, but they gained over 800,000 Tik Tok followers and were approached by a bunch of poorly developed freemium games for advertisements. On an unrelated note, please checkout this baller game I found and play with my friends. It’s called “Princess Saviour Quest Champion” and is totally free to play with an amazing story line and hot in-game action.

4: The Keto Diet

Tardigrades with bacon and sausage
DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS), CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Changes to image were made

Most of us have been either curious about or aggressively targeted by YouTube ads on the Keto Diet. Whether you “actually” like cauliflower or are just pretending like the bastardization of all our our favorite carbs isn’t happening, you’ve probably experience the Keto Flu. Alone, the headaches, loose bowls, and utter fear of more bacon are not that bad, but when coupled together, existence is unbearable. However, not so for the water bears. The team fed the tiny hipsters a diet of fatbomb coffee, pork belly’s, cheese, brats with sauerkraut, and a feeling of undeserved virtue over others. Without missing a beat, the tardigrades quickly adapted to the diet and started binge watching all Joe Rogan podcast episodes that feature diet gurus. They also lost a lot of weight and actually looked pretty sexy for their age.

5. Global Financial Crisis

Poor tardigrades
DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS), CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Changes to image were made

Having survived every physical force thrown at our cute little indestructibles, we had to go deep and hit them with a psychological whirlwind. They were exposed to a global financial crash that led to mass chaos and insurrection thus proving the preppers right. The JABDE insect collecting team is only about halfway done with this last experiment and the tardigrades are handling it fine. Thus far, the team has managed to “accidentally” release a virus causing a worldwide pandemic, convince the Brittons to leave the EU, and influence Hamas to fire thousands of rockets into Tel Aviv causing arising tensions and uncertainty in the Middle East. Next, for this experiment of microscopic organism resiliency testing, the JABDE team plans on releasing a plague of wheat and hops eating locust into various locations to create an international beer crisis which should topple the economy and truly test the Tardigrade.

6. A Relationship with Pete Davidson

Tardigrades and Pete Davidson
Greg2600, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Seeming to hold strong during the destruction of all civil society, the JABDE team had to go even deeper into the psychological well. At the bottom of that well lives a troll to some, a successful comedian to others, and oddly something for extremely success and beautiful women to date. After spelunking to some of the furthest depths in human emotion, we introduced our tardigrades to the love rollercoaster that is Pete Davidson. They spent one whole scaramucci (approximately 11 days) with the SNL actor and had to endure off putting jokes, bleached tip hair, and poorly done cliché tattoos. In the end our robust cartoon animals joined the ranks of ex-girlfriends like Ariana Grande and Kate Beckinsale (seriously, why did they do that to themselves).

7. Cinco De Mayo Fish Bowl Margaritas

Tardigrades with Margaritas
DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS), CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Changes to image were made

Many of you reading this are still recovering from Cinco De Mayo (regardless of when you’re reading this). There are many of our fallen brethren unable to read this who lost their minds at El Pollo Grande after indulging in their all you can drink house margarita fishbowls for only $49.99. They too have shared the fate of our micro party animals after going drink for drink with “Juan the ‘rita guzzler” and got so flamsy they ended up passing out on back patio. Though we managed to get the drunk water bears home, this was their match as they have sworn to never drink a margarita again (until next Cinco De Mayo).

Published by S Rohrenjean

S. Rohrenjean is an Aerospace Engineer who has specialized in Canard Aesthetics and Reynolds Determinacy. With essentially a minor in Business Ethics, he began his professional endeavors as an undergrad selling access to his hoard of previous semesters Aero exams. Success came easy as most Aero professors concern themselves with the internal dialog of "why didn't I become a EE?" and "EE isn't real engineering, plasma induced laminar flow will change the world!", and thus never change their exam questions. Now, as an unemployed engineer who can explain in detail every aspect of Kutta condition but can't code "hello world" in anything but Matlab, he is working on the only true career progression of an Aero Engineer, tenure track professor.

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