Porking On The Moon: ‘moss piglets’ could survive 30 years…


More lunarcy from space as those tiny pig-like creatures which smashed into the Moon could survive there for up to 30 years, experts said yesterday.

Several thousand “tardigrades”, known as moss piglets, were on an Israeli lunar probe which crashed in April.

And we know that pigs can fly because Pink Floyd proved this with photographic evidence used for their 1977 studio album, Animals.


Scientists believe the microscopic invertebrates are still alive as they are one of the most indestructible species known to man.

The creatures, also called “water bears”, can survive heat of 150C or being frozen to absolute zero.

One wonders if they will meet existing inhabitants, The Clangers who have lived on the moon since, ooh, the BBC series first started in 1969.


One small step for a clanger, one giant leap for moon-kind.

Nova Spivack, one of the scientists who sent them into space, said: “We believe the chances of survival are extremely high.

“Tardigrades are ideal to include because they are microscopic, multicellular and one of the most durable forms of life on Earth.”

Several thousand were on the Beresheet robot lander spacecraft when it hit the lunar surface at high speed on April 11.


Alongside the tardigrades were 30 million pages of information, including human DNA samples.

It belonged to The Arch Mission Foundation, which regularly sends a “back-up” of knowledge and biology to space in case of apocalypse.

Moss piglets became the first creatures to survive in space during an experiment 12 years ago. They have been compared to kids’ TV classic The Clangers, the flutey-voiced woollen aliens who live on a moon-like planet.


IT’S no surprise the tardigrades have survived as they are one of Earth’s most indestructible creatures.

  • THEY are tiny invertebrates, under 1mm long, that live in the harshest of conditions.
  • THEY have been found in the sea, mountaintops, mud volcanoes and rainforests.
  • THEIR closest relatives are arthropods — such as insects, spiders and crustaceans.
  • THEY boast a well-developed head, stout body with unjointed limbs and sharp claws.
  • GERMAN zoologist Johann August Ephraim Goeze dubbed the species “little water bears” in 1773.

Prof Lewis Dartnell, of the University of Westminster, said the moss piglets will currently be in a state of “suspended animation”.

He added: “They’ve been known to survive the vacuum of space and high doses of radiation. They can live for years like this. However, they will not be crawling around.

“They are easy to find in your back garden. They live in damp little crevices – you can spot them with a toy shop microscope.”

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