Water bears on the Moon? Tiny creatures may be living on the lunar surface
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There may be life on the Moon after all, albeit with an Earthly origin. Tiny creatures called tardigrades, also known as water bears, may be living on the lunar surface after an Israeli probe carrying the organisms crash-landed on the Moon.
Tardigrades are among the toughest life forms known to science, capable of surviving extremes of hot and cold, radiation and years without food or water.
In April this year, an American non-profit organisation, the Arch Mission Foundation, sent a capsule to the Moon which contained, among other things, thousands of living water bears as part of a project to preserve information about life on Earth in case of terrestrial catastrophe.
But the Israeli Beresheet robot lander carrying the microscopic animals crashed on landing, potentially releasing them onto the Moon’s surface.
Experts say there is a high probability that the tardigrades survived the crash and could go on living under the harsh lunar conditions for some time.
However, there is little chance of a race of space water bears taking over the Moon, with the creatures unable to reproduce without access to food and water.