One Quirky Space Creature From Futurama S11 Actually Kinda Exists in Real Life
What are those water bears?
One of the most distinctive features of Futurama is its creative and often hilarious depiction of alien life forms.
In Futurama’s season 11 episode titled Children of a Lesser Bog, we meet these quirky space creatures called tardigrades. Well, they're not just a figment of the show's wild imagination. They're real. But, they're not as big as they appear on the show. They're actually super tiny.
In this episode, we see Kif and Zapp visiting Exobiology Station 38, where they encounter tardigrades. These creatures are responsible for destroying the communication equipment at the station.
But don't worry, our heroes manage to fix the transmitter and even turn some of the tardigrades into cave paintings.
Tardigrades, also known as "water bears,” are microscopic organisms that are pretty much indestructible. Believe it or not, they've been around for a whopping 600 million years.
The nickname "water bear" comes from the way tardigrades walk, which is said to resemble a bear's gait.
These little guys can survive in outer space, withstand radiation, and live in extreme conditions like dirt, water, and even lava fields.
Despite their ability to endure harsh conditions, these water-dwelling micro-animals typically only live for a few months. However, they can survive for up to 30 years without food or water. No wonder they went crazy over Zapp's candy in the episode.
Despite their tiny size, tardigrades play a big role in our ecosystem. They serve as food for bigger organisms, which in turn feed even larger organisms. So, while they may seem insignificant, they're actually quite important. And despite their superpowers of survival, their lifespan is only a few months.
Futurama wasn't the only series to feature these fascinating creatures. Star Trek: Discovery also introduced a version of the tardigrade, turning it into a ferocious creature called the Ripper. But don't worry, the tardigrades in Futurama had a much nicer ending, with a fate full of fish.
Next time you watch Futurama and see those quirky space creatures, remember that they're not just a product of the show's creative imagination. They're real, and they're out there, surviving in the most extreme conditions imaginable.