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Thousands of tardigrades crash-land on the moon. Did they survive? (washingtonpost.com)
50 points by kungfudoi 65 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments

While they may have survived the impact as such, tardigrades being some tough little critters an'all, the Moon is rather unlikely to become a tardigrade Eden anytime soon.

Without water, they go into a dormant state from which they may revive after decades if water is supplied; however the extreme temperature swings on the Moon's surface is likely to do most of them in within the month.

"They can survive a wide range of temperatures and situations. Research has found that tardigrades can withstand environments as cold as minus 328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 200 Celsius) or highs of more than 300 degrees F (148.9 C), according to Smithsonian magazine"


"The average temperature on the Moon (at the equator and mid latitudes) varies from -298 degrees Fahrenheit (-183 degrees Celsius), at night, to 224 degrees Fahrenheit (106 degrees Celsius) during the day."


I should have looked up the specific species of tardigrades and where they crashed to be sure, but it looks like they might be okay with the temperature swings.

-They will not die instantly, for sure, but the temperature extremes will definitely not do them any good over time - I'd be lying if I said I sat on the edge of my seat during biology class, but I think survival at those extremes was measured in days if not hours.

The survival is dependent on it being in its dormant state, where it is solid and well protected from said extreme elements.

Although with water availability, presumably there is some time between the highest and lowest temperatures where the tardigrade could survive and proliferate. Of course, there needs to be some kind of food, as well.

Sounds like the Trisolarans

Panspermia in action.

Invasion of moon by micro-aliens?

"Due to a terrible miscalculation of scale their entire invasion fleet is accidentally swallowed by a little dog."

Coming soon to Netflix: The Wrath of Tardigrade.

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You, for one, will welcome our microscopic proto-arthropod underlords for the few hours that they last before going to the great tardigrade mosh-pit in the sk...

Oh. Carry on then.

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