Fauna: The Adorable Microscopic Organisms That Can Survive in Space

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Tardigrades are minuscule, eight-legged creatures that can withstand extreme conditions, including the vacuum of space. They kind of look like fat little caterpillar-bear hybrids, earning them the name "water bears." Motherboard interviewed Mike Shaw, a naturalist, about the mysterious creatures for their Spaced Out series. Because they are so unlike other species on Earth, one theory holds that they evolved elsewhere and somehow traveled here on "space debris." For more on the science and a pretty impressive animated GIF of a dancing polar bear, visit Motherboard

For more videos from our "Friday Fauna" series, visit the Atlantic Video channel. While we continue to ponder the possibility of life beyond our planet, Megan Garber's "Swabbing and Hoping: How NASA Keeps Germs From Colonizing Mars" explores the very real issue of making sure Earthlings (of any species) don't contaminate the rest of the universe. 

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


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