Yes. Tonight I will sleep soundly, affirmed in the fact that
I have just changed your life forever. LOOK at this thing. It’s equal parts terrifying,
adorable, vacuum cleaner and potato. Confused why you’ve never seen this
glorious creature on National Geographic before? It’s probably because they are
smaller than a millimeter.
The water bear is a microscopic animal, formally called a
Tardigrade. It lives in moss and lichen, but it can basically survive in any
environment. When there is a lack of moisture in its environment, it shrivels
up and stops living life and just WAITS until the water comes back. Revolutionary. I wish I
could shrivel up and just wait for midterms to be over.
I understand that by this point you are probably
dramatically and irrevocably surrendered to the awareness and research of water
bears. I can feel your desire to know more pulsing through the screen. You are
not alone! A beautiful thing called The
International Society of Tardigrade Hunters was founded on March 20, 2015.
This is a group of people unified by the pursuit of water
bears aka quite literally the pursuit of happiness. To celebrate its recent
founding, the society had a “collecting expedition” RIGHT HERE on UNC’s campus.
Tardigrade lovers took to the mossy woods and ended up finding 27 vacuum
cleaner-potatoes. We probably see so many of these things on a daily basis
without really seeing them/ knowing they exist.
This society has it’s own blog. Interested
in hunting water bears? (Don’t deny your heart) The International Society of Tardigrade
Hunters is as much a hidden treasure as sweet, pudgy water bears themselves. It
is your new home, my recent converts. I believe in you, UNC. I believe that
together we can end rampant water bear ignorance. Spread awareness. Acceptance
is the first step to recovery.
FOR THE WATER BEARS.