If doomsday strikes, this eight-legged ‘freak’ animal shall inherit the Earth
Whether a rock space monster crashes on our planet or radiation from an explosive star, our ocean, most humans and other life forms disappear.
But a creature is sure to survive, according to a study released Friday.
And it will continue for as long as the Sun does not die – at least another 10 billion years.
The designated heir of the Earth is the animal of delay, a microscopic animal, like an animal with eight legs that can live in water or on land, under extreme high or low pressure.
Also known as the name of water bear or pork foam, it can withstand torrential heat, a cold and high radiation, 30 years without food, and even be dried to a fresh.
Despite its small size – less than one millimeter (0.04 inches) – it is considered the most difficult of animals in the world.
The tardigrade, said researchers at Oxford and Harvard, will survive all predicted astrophysical disasters – impacts of asteroids, stars in explosion (supernovae) or bursts of gamma rays – and “be around at least 10 billion years.”
It is much better than the diagnosis of our own species.
“Without our technology that protects us humans are very sensitive species. Subtle changes in our environment affect us dramatically,” said Rafael Alves Batista of Oxford University, co-author of the study in the journal Scientific Reports.
“There are many more resistant species on Earth. Life on this planet can continue long after humans are gone.
Batista and a team set out to determine what kind of disasters would be needed to cleanse the Land of a lifetime.
And they found that it would be almost impossible – when life takes root, it is surprisingly difficult to eradicate.
Explosions of supernovae or gamma rays, electromagnetic explosions that occur in other galaxies could deplete the earth’s protective ozone layer that protects us from radiation. But life could go underground and under deep water.
And on Mars?
Even a complete loss of the atmosphere would not affect the species at the bottom of the ocean.
A large asteroid attack could cover Earth in a cloud of dust blocks the sunlight, causing a drop in temperature and the so-called “winter effect”.
Creatures perish dependent light, but in volcanic vents in the depths of the ocean, life would follow.
Without space rock large enough to cause a complete annihilation of the species is in the process of collision with our planet, which it has found.
There are no massive stars or potential sources of gamma rays close enough to boil Earth’s oceans if they burst.
The only event that kills even tardi grades is when the sun finally burned.
“Although the impacts of asteroids near supernovae or large ones are catastrophic for people, tardigrades may not be affected,” said co-author David Sloan.
The Tardigrades have a body divided into four segments, each with a pair of legs ending in sharp claws.