Video Viral

By Jack Mobley

A single drop from a bird bath reveals an entire living world that include creatures known as water bears.

Biomedicine student, Martin Kristiansen captured the footage of the tardigrades, commonly known as water bears, as they go consume the surrounding plant material.

In Aalborg, Denmark, Martin was able to take the smallest sample from a bird bath and analyse it underneath the microscope.

The tardigrades are known as water bears due their waddling appearance resembling their mammal counterparts.

Known for more than just their appearance tardigrades have a special talent, tardigrades can enter a state called a tun, where they are essentially dead. 

In this state they can survive almost anything, like enormous amounts of pressure, extreme temperatures and huge levels of radiation.

Martin said: “I was extremely happy when I looked at the sample from the birdbath.

“I have never seen that many tardigrades before in one sample, I was even able to find multiple species in a single drop of water!

“Tardigrades are of great interest in medical research where there is active research going on trying to apply the tardigrades ability to survive to human cells. e.g. to be able to freeze transplants which would improve transplant storage time dramatically.

“They are the ‘holy grail’ for amateur microscopists all around the world.”