Water bears, also known as tardigrades, are super-tiny mammals best known for their capacity to survive in some of the toughest conditions, including intense heat, extreme cold, the bottom of the ocean, near volcanoes, highly radioactive settings, and even the vacuum of space.
Only animal that can survive the apocalypse
What exactly is a tardigrade? Tardigrades are microscopic eight-legged creatures that have traveled to space and would most certainly survive the apocalypse. They also resemble charming little bears. There are around 1,300 tardigrade species found globally.
Their lifespan is unknown; however, tardigrades can halt their metabolism and become immortal (state cryptobiosis). Tardigrades were discovered 2,000 years ago on an ice sheet and resurrected. This type of resilience allows it to not only stop time, but also to withstand high temperatures.
In 2007, European researchers launched a tardigrade species into low-Earth orbit for ten days, where they were exposed to space vacuum as well as solar/galactic cosmic radiation. When they returned to Earth, just a few of the people who had been exposed to all of the radiation survived and were able to have viable children.