6 Extreme Animals Sure To Survive The Apocalypse
If we've learned anything from science class, it's that nature is constantly trying to kill us. No matter how hard it tries though, it will never take down these animals.
1. The Devil Worm
Can survive: Crippling pressure, lack of oxygen, high temperature.
This species of nematode, only recently discovered in 2011, has been found living up to 2.2 miles below the surface of the Earth. It blew away the previous record for multicellular organisms by a full mile. These worms spend their lives in total darkness, drinking 12,000 year old water and eating simple bacteria.
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2. The Himalayan Jumping Spider
Can survive: Low pressure, freezing temperatures.
The polar opposite of the devil worm, this spider holds the record for the animal that claims residency at a higher point than any other (4.1 miles above sea level). It’s able to survive long periods without food, freezing temperatures, and a distinct lack of atmospheric pressure. The only sources of nutrition available to the Himlayan jumping spider are the tiny insects that get blown up the mountain by the high winds.
Photo Credit: Gavin Maxwell/naturepl.com | Via: bbc.co.uk 2013
3. The Immortal Jellyfish
Can survive: The aging process.
These jellyfish have the ability to revert back to their infant stages in adverse conditions, making them effectively immortal. There doesn't seem to be any limit on the number of times that they're able to revert back to their infancy. Unfortunately, they're highly vulnerable to predation and disease every time they live out their immature, smaller stages.
4. The Red Flat Bark Beetle
Can survive: Extreme cold.
This insect, which is native to the northern areas of Alaska and Canada, is able to resist temperatures up to -150 degrees Celsius (-238 Fahrenheit) by producing an antifreeze protein that prevents the crystallization of its blood. Its blood is also fortified with glycerol, which further halts freezing.
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5. The Pompeii Worm
Can survive: Extreme heat, variance in temperature.
These deep-sea worms live exclusively in thermal vents in the ocean floor. Their tails are in the vents, which achieve temperatures up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Their heads however, poke out of the vents in order for the pompeii worms to capture prey. This results in half of their bodies experiencing temperatures over 100 degrees lower. It's thought that their resistance to heat is due to a coating of specialized bacteria on their bodies, which may provide a large degree of insulation for the worm.
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6. The Tardigrade
Can survive: Basically anything.
These millimeter long, segmented animals can survive just about everything. Temperatures between just above absolute zero and 300 degrees Fahrenheit are no problem. 1200 times atmospheric pressure? The tardigrade just shrugs it off. It doesn’t really care about dehydration either, seeing as it can go 10 years without water. 1,000 times the lethal dose of radiation for humans is another non-factor. When testing the true extent of the tardigrade's resilience, scientists went so far as to send it to outer space in 2007. The result? Most of the tardigrades that went on the mission came back entirely unscathed. Plus they're kind of weirdly adorable.