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Tardigrade are interesting creatures. They are tiny (~ 1 millimeter long), eight-legged animals that live in the water … and they’re built to last! Wikipedia breaks it down:

Tardigrades are notable for being one of the most complex of all known polyextremophiles. (An extremophile is an organism that can thrive in a physically or geochemically extreme condition that would be detrimental to most life on Earth.) For example, Tardigrades can withstand temperatures from just above absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, as well as pressures greater than any found in the deepest ocean trenches, along with solar radiation, gamma radiation, ionic radiation— at doses hundreds of times higher than would kill a person and have lived through the vacuum of outer space. They can go without food or water for nearly 120 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.

The tardigrade was originally named “kleiner wasserbär,” which means “little water bear” in German. “Tardigrada” means “slow walker in Latin.

So, now that you know how badass they are, doesn’t it make you want to pay tribute to them by making a tardigrade craft of some sort? Well, you’re in luck. Jessica Polka of Wunderkammer has instructions for crocheting a cute-as-a-bug little water bear.

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Jessica has a number of free patterns up on her site, including a narwhal and a crocheted eukaryotic cell.

Laura Cochrane

I’m an editor at MAKE and CRAFT. I like hiking, biking, and etymology.


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