Animals that can live in outer space

Tardigrades, or water bears as they are also known as, are microscopically small animals. They have an incredible ability to survive the harshest of conditions, and have even been sent into space.

Tardigrades are between 50 μm and 1.2 mm long and live in damp moss, but they are also found on the beds of lakes and oceans. There are roughly 500 different species of tardigrade, of which 65 are found in Sweden.

The ability of these tiny, teddy bear like animals to survive in the most inhospitable environments is nothing short of astounding. They can go into a kind of hibernation that allows them to survive in temperatures of more than 150°C and less than minus 272°C.

Tardigrades and their eggs have been sent into outer space, where they survived challenges such as being in a vacuum and cosmic radiation.