Offbeat Video

By Jack Williams


A lab technician was left stunned when a tiny tardigrade she was monitoring suddenly decided to let out a huge POO.

In the amusing and rarely-captured footage, the minute creature – also known as a water bear – can at first be seen moving along normally under the microscope as it is filmed by high school lab technician Kita Williams.

PIC BY KITA WILLIAMS / CATERS

Suddenly, much to Kita’s shock, the the microscopic water bear stopped in its tracks, letting out a huge poo in comparison to its tiny body.

Kita, from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, said though many people have studied the creatures under a microscope, very few have seen a tardigrade poop – let alone film it.

The 27-year-old, who filmed the moment last week, said: “I was extremely excited!

“It was perfect timing.

“I’ve been observing tardigrades for around seven months, but this was the first – and only – poop event I’ve seen.

“These moments are rarely captured on film, so I always hoped I’d get to see it happen.

“It’s fun to add to the knowledge around tardigrade toileting.”

PIC BY KITA WILLIAMS / CATERS

Kita located the tardigrade in a sample of sediment collected from her local creek.

Tardigrades are renowned for their survival skills, having been known to operate in temperatures ranging from -270 Celsius to 150 Celsius – even in outer space.

Kita added: “The response has been fantastic – I love seeing all the humour and enthusiasm.

“Microscopy is filled with strange, thrilling and funny moments, so it’s a joy to share with people.”