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"If We Made A Race Of Human-Tardigrade Hybrids?" Topic

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Cacique Caribe04 Nov 2014 11:59 p.m. PST



If mad scientists made such a race, to work in space and to colonize harsh worlds for us …

A) What do you think they would look like?

B) What would be a good name for that race?


By the way, this is what a Tardigrade (Waterbear) looks like:






And this is what makes them exceptional creatures and why some mad scientists think they may have genes we could use to adapt humans to live in and colonize other planets:

"Tardigrades can withstand temperatures from just above absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, pressures about six times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches, ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human, and the vacuum of outer space. They can go without food or water for more than 10 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.
Usually, tardigrades are about 0.5 mm (0.020 in) long when they are fully grown. They are short and plump with four pairs of legs, each with four to eight claws also known as "disks". The animals are prevalent in mosses and lichens and feed on plant cells, algae, and small invertebrates. When collected, they may be viewed under a very-low-power microscope, making them accessible to students and amateur scientists."

PS. 20 minutes into this clip, check out what is being considered to allow humans to go into suspended animation. 25:30 into the clip, see discussions about borrowing genes, and which creature might be the best candidate:
YouTube link

Cacique Caribe05 Nov 2014 12:24 a.m. PST

This is funny (meant to go on t-shirts):



C) And if the hybrids looked something like these 3-4 foot tall fellas, but reasoned and functioned as humans do, would you consider them part of the human race?




Or this?




Pete Melvin05 Nov 2014 3:14 a.m. PST

Did some work with tardigrades during my degree, they are some tough little blighters for sure

MHoxie05 Nov 2014 3:40 a.m. PST


MHoxie05 Nov 2014 3:43 a.m. PST

Hey kids! Just add water! Endless fun!


Cacique Caribe05 Nov 2014 4:29 a.m. PST


I love that astronaut pic. Thanks!


Coelacanth05 Nov 2014 7:21 a.m. PST

In Robert Heinlein's novel Friday, he mentions a genetically-engineered species of humanoids called "kobolds". I don't think that he was terribly forthcoming with a description, though. I think that "kobold" would be a good provisional name for the Tardigrade hybrid.


Scary Robots ate my Puppy05 Nov 2014 7:51 a.m. PST

It probably would be easier to redesign man than terraform planets for us to live on. That way we could spread out across the universe, adapting as we go.As for being human..that's a question of philosophy I guess.

tberry740305 Nov 2014 8:01 a.m. PST

It probably would be easier to redesign man than terraform planets for us to live on.

I remember reading a novel way back in the Before Time about doing just that.

Several planets were chosen that were considered habitable, just not by Standard Form (TM) humans. Each planet had a group of colonists, genetically altered to be "at home" there, landed there and basically left to their own devices. (I don't remember if it was on purpose or because of some problems on Earth).

The novel follows an expedition sent out several hundred(?) years later to contact these "lost" colonies.

Unfortunately my poor, tired brain can't dredge up a title.

Ghostrunner05 Nov 2014 8:06 a.m. PST

'MAN PLUS' was a 1970s(?) novel on this premise.

In an attempt to assist the faltering Mars colonization program, a couple of astronauts are (rather savagely) adapted to function on Mars.

The astronauts are nominally volunteers, but the book gets pretty horrific in spots with descriptions of the various surgical changes made to the protagonist.

GypsyComet05 Nov 2014 8:44 a.m. PST

I've read that some of those famous resistances are possible because Tardigrades are so small. They wouldn't necessarily scale up well.

Gokiburi05 Nov 2014 2:17 p.m. PST

I've read that some of those famous resistances are possible because Tardigrades are so small. They wouldn't necessarily scale up well.

If I recall, many of their resistances also require them to be in a cryptobiotic state, so our colonists would be able to survive in that extremely hostile environment, but might not be able to get much of anything done unless those conditions are temporary.

I still want this.

"I am a *inhale* Cryptobiotic God!"

Rhino Co05 Nov 2014 9:06 p.m. PST

Arthur C Clark, Songs of Distant Earth.


GypsyComet06 Nov 2014 12:45 a.m. PST

A nice, low conflict book, typically Clarke in many ways.

Have you heard the "soundtrack" for it by Mike Oldfield?

Weasel06 Nov 2014 11:02 a.m. PST

I came for the tiny animals but stayed for the Mass Effect jokes

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2014 1:24 p.m. PST

I remember a short story that had galactic civ trying to find the original human stock, as manipulation had gone on so long nobody knew.

The protagonist tried to manipulate back to source DNA; hook was the result not quite what we experience. ;->=

Would what works for the tardigrade scale of creature be likely to work for ours? I keep thinking of why you're not likely to see human-sized cockroaches because of issues with exoskeletons that large. *shrug*


deflatermouse26 Feb 2015 3:00 a.m. PST

Do you know this has come out?

War Monkey26 Feb 2015 7:58 a.m. PST

Could use "Rebel Mini" Sons of Thunder as suited up gene spliced Bleeped texts

War Monkey04 Apr 2023 7:39 p.m. PST

Here is a very disturbing Update to this thread!

YouTube link

Seems the Chinese might be trying to make human hybrids

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Apr 2023 10:31 a.m. PST

There's always this …


Though my own vision …


… has some flashes …


… in this direction …


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