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This Video of a Water Bear Taking an Enormous Poop Is Flat-Out Mesmerizing

So much poop, such a tiny creature.

Tardigrades — also known by their much cuter name, water bears — are so hearty that scientists believe they're the perfect candidates for interstellar travel. They also happen to take very large poops.

In a video posted on Twitter by a Harvard graduate student, a little water bear drops a big one — about a third of its total length, in fact.

Prepare to be mesmerized as you watch the poop make its way through the tardigrade's clear body. It then kicks its eight legs to get away from it.

This tardigrade was only .008 inches long, so we can assume that something one-third of that size at least didn't have a strong smell. The little water bear probably had lichen or algae for dinner, so chances are, that's what the poop was made of, too.


Because the video was made using a microscope, the picture is in black and white, but in person it's actually bright green, according to Tessa Montague, who made the video.


Footage of water bears taking a No. 2 are quite rare — Montague was only able to find one other example across the whole internet.

Perhaps it was this one, which claims to be the first-ever recorded footage of a moss piglet (the creature's other adorable nickname) taking a poop.

water bear poop Giphy

For once, we feel like the sequel was better, actually. In addition to being rare footage, it's possible that water bears don't experience bowel movements all that often. When Montague showed the video to the professor who had given it to her, he hadn't witnessed it defecate before he passed it along.

There might be a reason that "Water Bear Poop 2: The Poopening" was a bit more dramatic that the first installment. Montague noted that the tardigrade was lightly pressed between two cover slips to keep it from moving out of the frame of the microscope. That might have given the pooping a little extra "oomph," she said. That explains it!

Well, even if their pooping is a little less dramatic when done in peace, we're still impressed, as always, with the many talents of the water bear.

water bear poop Giphy

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