Tardigrades: 'Water Bears' Are Stuck On The Moon

8 August 2019, 15:05

'Water bears' are incredibly resilient creatures
'Water bears' are incredibly resilient creatures. Picture: Getty

Scientists believe tiny creatures known as "tardigrades" that crash-landed onto the moon in April, could survive there for up to 30 years.

Several thousand “tardigrades”, also known as "water bears" or "moss piglets", were on an Israeli lunar probe which crashed onto the Moon in April.

Experts are now predicting that they could survive on the Moon for up to 30 years.

The creatures are considered the hardiest animals on Earth and can survive heat of 150C, or being frozen to absolute zero.

They have been found on mountain tops, in scorching deserts, and lurking in subglacial lakes in Antarctica.

The animals are in fact very tiny and just millimetres-long.

Experts predict they could live on the moon for 30 years
Experts predict they could live on the moon for 30 years. Picture: Getty

Dehydrated tardigrades have been known to be revived after years in an inactive state if they are plunged them into water.

Once rehydrated, the animals become active again and feed and reproduce as normal.

But there is less chance of the "water bears" out in space staying hydrated.

However it would theoretically be possible for the (dehydrated) tardigrades to be collected, brought back to earth, reanimated, and studied to see the effects of living on the moon.