Nearly three-quarters of all life on Earth was wiped out 65 million years ago, and if the math is accurate, we're due for another mass extinction in a few million years. It's hard to predict whether humans will be around, much less make it through doomsday, but scientists think one thing will survive: the tardigrade.
Now, researchers argue this resilient species could survive doomsday scenarios caused by astrophysical events, like an asteroid impact. Yes, it might wreck the planet, but an asteroid strike probably wouldn't boil away all the oceans, and so, tardigrades could hang on.
Other species — like humans — aren't as durable. Even subtle changes to our environment can have a drastic effect on our health.
So when that next mass extinction happens, it might be up to tardigrades to ensure life goes on.