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Quicky (Just one!): We’ve Contaminated the Moon, with Human DNA and Tardigrades

Accidental Crashes and Intentional DNA Drops is the Human Way.

As is the way of the human specie, we spread our DNA and our messes everywhere we go. Sometimes intentionaly and sometimes accidentally. Recently, in the case of the crashed Israeli spacecraft, we left a bunch of earth critters, that could, maybe, come back to life someday.

In April, the Israeli spacecraft called Beresheet crashed into the moon. In its cargo load was thousands of dehydrated Tardigrades. Tardigrades for anyone who doesn’t know, are microscopic critters that are equal parts adorable and creepy. Here is an illustration I did of one to give you an idea.

Tardigrade small but Mighty Art by Amy Davis Roth used with permission



Tardigrades are affectionately known as “water bears” cuz they like to live in water droplets and they kinda look like tiny bears. Here is another slightly cuter illustration I did. This one is in rainbow colors, they are actually more of a pinkish brown in real life.

Tardigrades Rainbow art by Amy Davis Roth used with permission

Tardigrades are super cool because they have the ability to rehydrate and are known, in some cases, to be able to survive the the vacuum of space and frozen temperatures. When they find themselves in more hospitable circumstances, they can rehydrate and come back to life! Therefor, in theory, these tiny crash landers could become moon inhabitants someday! Of course the lack of atmosphere, minimal water and the reality of extreme radiation makes this senecio unlikely for now. But if the world is destroyed and alien historians come looking for examples of life, these dehydrated bears might be an easy starter kit! Like sea monkeys but bears! Did I mention we dropped off some human DNA too? Yep. The instruction guide to building humans is on the moon too in case something wants to study us, or keep us and our little bears as a pets someday.

You can read more about this story here. Special thanks to Donna for the link!

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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