Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Discovery: Blood-Red Worms That Thrive in a Toxic Cave (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Fascinating. Between cockroaches, these blood-red worms and those tardigrades (aka water bears), we could create a heavy duty, indestructible micro army...

June 3, 2016 - It's wet, muddy, slimy, and smells like rotten eggs: Sulfur Cave in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is full of gases so toxic that a person who enters would pass out after just a few breaths. But that didn't stop David Steinmann of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Donning a special respirator, he first explored the cave in 2007. In this extreme environment, devoid of sunlight, Steinmann found clumps of tiny blood-red worms, each one just an inch long and as thin as a pencil lead. Now genetic analysis has confirmed that the worms are a new species that may not be found anywhere else on Earth. These tiny worms could even offer clues to the kinds of life that might be found on other planets.


Water bears, or Tardigrades, are wonderfully interesting micro-organisms found in diverse environments all over the world. There are over 1,000 different species known. They can survive in extreme conditions by dehydrating and entering a state of cryptobiosis.

According to Wikipedia, "Tardigrades are able to survive in extreme environments that would kill almost any other animal. Some can survive temperatures of close to absolute zero, or 0 Kelvin (−273 °C (−459 °F)), temperatures as high as 151 °C (304 °F), 1,000 times more radiation than other animals, and almost a decade without water. Since 2007, tardigrades have also returned alive from studies in which they have been exposed to the vacuum of outer space for a few days in low Earth orbit."

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