They're cute, they're tiny and they're extremely resilient. Tardigrades, commonly known as "water bears" might just outlive us all. These eight-legged creatures, usually smaller than the tip of a sharpened pencil, can survive trying times by curling up into a ball and entering a near-death state called "cryptobiosis."
They can withstand extreme temperatures from as cold as negative 328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 200 degrees Celsius) to as hot as over 300 degrees F (148.9 degrees C). They can also live through radiation, boiling liquid, extreme pressure and can even survive in space without any protection.
But perhaps their greatest achievement is their obsessive human following. The internet is filled with tardigrade paraphernalia that just might make the perfect holiday presents for the water-bear-entranced (including yourself). Tardigrades are here, they're there, they're everywhere, take a look:
Tardigrades on your feet
Hashtag Collectibles Water Bear Slippers, $24.99
Tardigrades closer to your feet
Hashtag Collectibles water bear socks, $11.99
Tardigrades on your shirt
'Live Tiny Die Never' shirt, $15.95
Tardigrades on your skirt
Tadigrades skirt, $46.87
Tardigrades in your garden
Tardigrades Garden Flag, $12.99
Tardigrades on your tree
Ornament-Tardigrade water bear, $10
Tardigrades on your ears
Tardigrade earrings, $19.75
Stressed? Tardigrades can help
The Tardigrade Stress-o-Cizer, $20,
Bored? Crochet your own tardigrade
Tardigrade crochet pattern, $5
Tardigrades can hang with your keys
Tardigrade keychain, $26.75
Tardigrades can hold your pins
Waterbear Pincushion, $32
Tardigrades can welcome your mail
Tardigrades in Space Custom Mailbox Covers, $12.5,
You can hug this tardigrade
Stuffed Water Bear, $39.99
You can hug this mini tardigrade
Stuffed Water Bear Plush-Mini, $14.99
Tardigrades with your wine
Biologist Tardigrade Wine Glass Gift, $15.99
Is your baby tiny but mighty like a tardigrade?
Tardigrade Onesie, $23
Originally published on Live Science.
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Yasemin is a staff writer at Live Science, covering health, neuroscience and biology. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Science and the San Jose Mercury News. She has a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Connecticut and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.