think that we know everything about our planet, however, there are still lands that haven’t been explored. What is even more interesting is that our world is made up of 71% water, meaning that there are many things and creatures hiding in the ocean’s depths, just waiting to be discovered or maybe hiding from us.
One such creature that has been recently discovered is named Artemia Salina, a type of ancient shrimp that has been around for the last 100 million years. This aquatic crustacean lives close to the sea bed of oceans and despite its simplicity, it has some great survival abilities that allow it to live for a very long time.
Can survive under any circumstance
This can also be deemed as the most adaptive animal as it can live under extreme conditions whilst not being affected. You can try to burn it, drown it in chemicals, or even boil it above 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit) and it still would not die. This incredible creature is so adaptive that it can even live at temperatures of -273 degrees Celcius (523 Fahrenheit).
An obvious characteristic is its ability to survive under heavy atmospheric pressure due to it living at the bottom of the ocean. Something not so obvious is the ability of this creature to survive in space!
In 1972 when Apollo 16 launched into space to test the effects of cosmic rays, the astronauts also took an Artemia Salina to see if it would survive. Don’t imagine this as being the size of a normal shrimp, this species is actually very small, measuring an average of 15 millimeters.
The females don’t need a male to reproduce as they can lay eggs that hatch immediately. However, if the conditions are not so favorable, in case of harsh temperatures or lack of food, the females give birth to a hard shell that contains fully developed larvae that will come out of the shell when the conditions are more advantageous.
During the early 90s, some of those looking for petrol near the Great Salt Lake dug and found a bunch of these hard shells produced by Artemia Salina. When they brought the shells up to shore they hatched but the larvae inside were already adults from the study of experts.
From further analyses of the shells, the carbon footprint shows them to be over 10,000 years old, meaning that the fully developed larvae inside waited to reach a more favorable place to hatch. This means that the larvae would have been able to last even longer if not disturbed, maybe even another 10,000 years or even 100,000.
Experts also say that the creature, whilst inside the hard shell, can resist extreme dehydration even up to 97%. That is when the organism stops and enters a moment of pause, sort of like how a bear hibernates in the winter, but more complex.
This process is called anhydrobiosis or in simpler terms life without water, giving the ability of an organism to live with almost no water, this is amazing as water is the essence of our survival, not just humans but everything around us.