When picturing what aliens look like in real life, images of skinny, big headed humanoids tend to populate the mind. However, as scientists begin to discover new and exciting forms of life here on Earth, the definition of “alien” is beginning to change.
SCIENTISTS FIND ALIENS IN EARTH’S OCEAN
Scientists have just discovered a new animal on Earth that is tougher than most. In these creatures (called tardigrades), they found a special gene that helps them survive extreme temperatures. Tardigrades can live through boil, freezing, and even radiation. Now, efforts are being made to grow human cells that have this same protective protein. Seeing as life on other planets could have extreme conditions, maybe aliens look like tardigrades.
SCIENTISTS FIND AQUATIC SPACE BEARS: ARE THESE ALIENS?
Tardigrades are microscopic creatures more commonly referred to as water bears. In 2007, the European Space Agency satellite brought thousands of water bears into the vacuum of space. Hence, they are now “Tardis”, tardigrades in space. In the project, scientists found that not only did these space bears survive up there, but they were able to reproduce after coming back to Earth. If these things can survive the harsh environs of space, it’s quite possible there are similar, microscopic aliens out there doing the same.
SCIENTISTS USE ALIENS TO HELP HUMANS
Besides showing off their amazing resistance, researchers are trying to find other uses for tardigrades. Tardigrades are much more resistant to X-Rays than the human cells are and researchers suspect they have far more tricks up their sleeves in the future. With further research, they think that these special genes can make it safer to store and transport human cells. Furthermore, they can protect delicate human skin from damage. This will hopefully come in handy when humans are living in extremely harsh environments such as Mars and beyond.