These aquatic extremophiles look like eight-legged chunky bears. They can survive in some of the most inhospitable places in the world. This includes extremely hot, boiling, hydrothermal vents, and absolute zero temperatures going from one extreme to the next. That’s not something humans will ever think about surviving, ever. They can survive the vacuum of space and pressure six times the deepest pit of the ocean. They’re also the only soft-bodied animal that can walk, compared to their counterparts that slither, wriggle, and thrash around like worms. Smithsonian Mag found out that “tardigrades walk like insects 500,000 times their size.
These little creatures look like aliens. They’re a bit freaky to look at, but we honestly have a lot to learn from them. Though they move only half of their already-minuscule body length (0.5 millimeters) per second on average, they can move two body lengths simultaneously at top speed. Slow as they may be, they also seem to adjust their steps according to the terrain they’re navigating.” Scientists are looking at ways to use the way they walk in new forms of locomotion, used for micro-scale robots. Again, we’re seeing the scientific mysteries in the world. The Tardigrades use minimal brain power and energy, following simple rules that have a high impact (Smithsonian Mag).