Stranger than fiction: Tiny, virtually indestructible animals called tardigrades, aka “water bears.” They don’t do much, but they don’t seem to know how to die, either. From The Very Short List – What can’t water bears bear?
Tardigrades â€” barely visible invertebrates that cling to mosses and lichens â€” are an exception to this rule. They are virtually indestructible. In recent years, scientists have subjected tardigrades (which are also known as water bears) to extreme temperatures, ranging from 155ÂºC to â€“200ÂºC. Theyâ€™ve deprived the creatures of food and water for years at a time and zapped them with incredibly toxic levels of radiation. But, just like a Timex watch, water bears keep on ticking. Earlier this month, scientists reported that a colony of tardigrades had even managed to withstand the vacuum of outer space.
There is no outer boundary to the mind-blowing properties of raw nature.
See also: the Tardigrades in Space blog.