Our world has been around for billions of years, and in that time, there have been millions upon millions of different species and creatures who have called this world home, and what might surprise many people is the fact that around 99% of all life that has ever existed on Earth has gone extinct. Species die out on a fairly regular basis, but in terms of widespread extinction, there have been five major events in the Earth’s history that resulted in nearly all life being wiped out. Many observers believe that in 2016, the Earth is currently entering into a sixth mass extinction, which coincides heavily with the fact that many people believe that the world is heading towards armageddon.
Armageddon can be reached through several means, whether it be due to climate change, an immense solar flare, a worldwide plague, or as most people believe, nuclear fallout. Either way, no matter how armageddon comes about, it likely will be what truly causes the Earth’s next mass extinction. With every mass extinction however, there have always been creatures who managed to survive thanks to some special skills and abilities that they possess, and it is a trend that will probably continue whenever armageddon rears its destructive head. Here is a list of 15 indestructible creatures that will outlive armageddon.
15. The Devil Worm
If you were asked to describe what a worm is, you would likely say that they are gross looking and slimy creatures that have no limbs, and which are traditionally used as bait for catching fish; but like many animals, there exists a variety of different subspecies of worms all with their own unique traits. The Devil Worm happens to be one of those subspecies, and despite only being discovered five years ago, we know that the way it lives is somewhat perfect for surviving armageddon. Almost all worms live underground, but the devil worm is capable of living 2.2 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, where it lives with absolutely no light, and survives by eating basic bacteria and drinking water that is centuries old. It is because of the fact that the devil worm lives so deep underground where it is capable of surviving high temperatures, intense pressure levels, and a lack of oxygen, that it will be able to outlive anything that happens on the surface.
14. The Fruit Fly
Some of the most annoying creatures on the planet are flies, and that is something most of us can agree on, as we have all had to swat away at least a couple of flies while outdoors or inside our homes. The fruit fly, is a subspecies of fly which, in the event of armageddon caused by something like nuclear fallout, may likely be able to keep buzzing around long after most life is wiped out. This fly is capable of surviving in areas where the radiation levels can be as high as 64,000 rads, which is quite impressive considering that humans tend to quickly die after being exposed to only 10,000 rads. Like most insects, the fruit fly can thank its size for its ability to withstand high levels of radiation, because since they are so small, they have a lot less cells in their bodies which can be affected by radiation, plus it means that their cell division rate is quite slow limiting the chances of developing any cancerous cells. The fruit fly also reproduces at an incredibly fast rate, which allows it evolve quickly in order to live in new, sometimes desolate environments.
13. The Scorpion
The scorpion is one cool looking arachnid, with its two pincers in the front, and stinger in the back, and it is a creature that has lived on this planet for 430 million years, where in that time it has survived four mass extinctions. Scorpions can usually be found in dug holes and cracks in the Earth’s surface, which automatically increases its odds of surviving in a place with a lot of radiation. What really makes the scorpion a likely survivor is its body, which offers it quite a good deal of protection against ultraviolet radiation (their bodies actually glow when in the presence of UV lighting), which also means that it can also likely survive certain levels of nuclear radiation as well. It is because of the scorpion’s adaptability that various versions of it can be found on every continent except for Antarctica, but just because no scorpion lives in Antarctica, does not mean that they are susceptible to extreme cold. In fact, scorpions can be brought back to life after being frozen for a prolonged time period, and they will go about their business like nothing ever happened; which comes in quite handy if there is ever a frozen nuclear winter.
12. The Immortal Jellyfish
The jellyfish is possibly the oldest multi-organ animal on the planet, as it has lived on Earth for at least 500 million years, and aside from its size, the jellyfish has stayed virtually the same over the millennia. When you see a jellyfish in the water in front of you, you might think, based on its appearance, that it is literally just a blob of jelly which has the ability to deliver a very painful sting; but in actuality, jellyfish have their own nervous, respiratory, digestive, and circulatory systems. The Turritopsis dohrnii subspecies of jellyfish, which is more commonly known as the “immortal” jellyfish, is a good candidate to outlive armageddon, not because it possesses outstanding resistances, but because it is able to defy death itself. When this jellyfish nears the end of its life, it reverts back to its infant stage and begins life anew, and so far there is no limit to how many times this jellyfish can perform this ability, which makes it immortal from a purely biological standpoint.
11. The Himalayan Jumping Spider
We have all seen spiders in our life, of varying sizes and color, but that is not at all surprising considering that there are over 45,000 distinct species of spiders in the world. At the beginning of this list, it was stated that the devil worm can survive armageddon by living deep underground, but in the case of the Himalayan jumping spider, it will likely survive because of the fact that it lives so high above the ground. This spider lives up to 4.1 miles above sea level, where it is able to endure freezing temperatures and an extreme lack of atmospheric pressure; it is also able to survive for a very long time without food, as the only time it is able to catch prey is when small bugs are brought up to its mountain home by strong winds. Spiders have inhabited the Earth for over 200 million years, and thanks to the Himalayan jumping spider, they will continue to do so after armageddon, unless their habitat is completely destroyed or the world itself simply spontaneously combusts.
10. The Braconidae Wasp
Wasps come in many different sizes and even colors, and they have been flying around the planet since the Jurassic period. We are mainly accustomed to seeing and dealing with yellow jacket wasps and hornets, and aside from their painful (and sometimes fatal) stings, they mind their own business and avoid humans unless agitated. We assume that all wasps, like bees, live in hives and reproduce via a queen, and even though some wasps do live that way, others like the braconidae wasp reproduce by laying eggs inside the bodies of other living insects. Should the world come to an end thanks to some form of nuclear fallout, this wasp will likely be able to survive thanks to the fact that it has a high resistance to radiation. Those who have researched this wasp, have discovered that it can survive in an area that possesses at least 180,000 rads of radiation, so unless they are unable to reproduce due to every other form of insect life being eradicated (this list proves that that will not be the case), then they will definitely outlive armageddon.
9. The Red Flat Bark Beetle
There are millions of insects in the world, and around forty percent of them have been classified as beetles, and because there are so many, it stands to reason that a few are able to survive in really harsh environments. The red flat bark beetle is one such beetle as it would likely outlive any form of armageddon that would result in the Earth becoming a frozen wasteland. This beetle can only be found in the northern parts of Alaska and Canada, in places where temperatures can sometimes fall to extreme lows. It is capable of surviving in temperatures as cold as -238 degrees fahrenheit (humans tend to die when their body temperature drops to 70 degrees), and it can do so thanks to a special antifreeze protein which keeps its blood from crystallizing as a result of the cold; and its blood also contains a special compound called glycerol which helps to keep its blood from freezing as well.
8. The Lingulata
Throughout the entire history of the Earth, there has been five known mass extinctions, where most of the life on the planet died out, with the end of the dinosaurs being the most recent one over 65 million years ago. The lingulata is a marine animal that spends its life living inside of a shell, much like a clam or oyster, but unlike those animals, the lingulata is very special, because it is in fact one of the only creatures to live through and survive all five of the Earth’s mass extinctions. This creature is able to burrow itself deep into the ground, which would explain why it was able to survive several global catastrophes, but aside from that, researchers have not been able to determine how it has survived for over 500 million years. Since the lingulata has managed to outlive at least 99% of all the species to ever live on Earth, it is fair to assume that it will likely also outlive most species whenever armageddon happens.
7. The Pompeii Worm
The oceans have always been home to an immense number of different marine and aquatic animals, and even now in 2016, we still have not explored most of the ocean floor, which also means that there are a lot of creatures that still remain undiscovered. Most scientists agree that the planet and its oceans are getting warmer, and rising temperatures are very dangerous for marine life in particular, as most species need water to remain at a certain temperature in order to stay alive. Should armageddon come and the entire planet becomes superheated, most marine life will indeed go extinct, but some creatures like the pompeii worm have a good chance of surviving such an event. This worm can only be found in thermal vents that are located on the ocean floor, and temperatures in these vents can reach up to 176 degrees fahrenheit, and when it moves its body out of the vents to catch prey, its body rapidly adjusts to the sudden decrease in temperature. The pompeii worm is able to withstand such extreme heat thanks to a special bacteria that helps to coat and insulate its body.
6. The Mummichog
Whether you believe it or not, our oceans are indeed dying, as rising sea temperatures and large amounts of pollution are wreaking havoc on underwater ecosystems all over the world, resulting in the slow death of many different species. Most fish species are in grave danger, but the mummichog fish is actually quite safe, and it has a pretty good chance of not only outliving every other fish, but most other creatures as well if armageddon strikes. This fish is capable of surviving drastic changes in water temperature, changes in salt content, and it is known for being able to live in some of the most polluted waters in the world without sustaining any real side effects. The reason why the mummichog is able to survive things that would normally kill off other fish, is because it is capable of shutting down and awakening specific genes whenever it needs to; and it has even been seen “redesigning” parts of its body in order to adapt to rapid changes in its environment.
5. The Amoeba
The amoeba is likely the smallest and simplest life form on the planet, and it is also likely what all life on Earth started out as; which will probably mean that it will also be responsible for creating new forms of life once the effects of armageddon have past. The amoeba, as small as it is, is quite resistant to radiation, and because it is a single cell organism it will not suffer any mutations when it multiplies, even if its habitat is irradiated. This creature is capable of entering into an indefinite “dormant, cyst state” which involves it curling up and forming a protective layer around its body, which will allow it to remain safe until the Earth becomes more habitable. What also makes the amoeba a prime candidate for surviving armageddon, is the fact that it is able to reproduce at an incredibly fast rate, and the one thing that definitely ensures a creature’s survival, is its ability to successfully reproduce.
4. The Cockroach
Now to be fair, most of you knew that this creature was going to appear somewhere on this list, as we have heard for a long time now that cockroaches are able to survive a blast from a nuclear bomb. In truth, a cockroach does have what it takes to survive a nuclear blast as well as a nuclear fallout, because of its ability to resist up to 10,000 rads worth of radiation, an amount that is truly fatal to most humans. The thing is though, 10,000 rads is equivalent to the amount of radiation released by the bomb that was dropped in Hiroshima over sixty years ago, and only about 10% of cockroaches were able to survive that level of radiation. Modern day nuclear weapons are much more powerful than they were sixty years ago, so if the world were to end in nuclear armageddon, the cockroach will likely be able to survive it as long as it is located a fair distance from the center of the blast zone.
3. Human Beings
The human race is undoubtedly one of the most adaptable species the Earth has ever seen, as we are capable of living in virtually every environment that the planet has to offer. Humans can live in places with extreme heat like the Middle East and Africa, and in places where temperatures can fall well below zero like the arctic; we are also incredibly resourceful, which is why we can live in climates that produce lush green habitats with a lot resources, as well as harsh climates that may only offer a scarcity of resources. Any number of armageddon scenarios, whether it be climate related, biological, or even nuclear, will likely result in the death of a large portion of the human race, but luckily, our species is so spread out all over the world that it will be very difficult for every last community to be wiped from existence. For those who think that a nuclear fallout would definitely put an end to the human race, just remember that nukes get launched at specific areas, and there exist islands and extremely isolated villages where people do live that are so remote, that no one would specifically target them with a nuclear weapon.
2. The Tardigrade
The Earth is home to some interesting looking creatures, and the tardigrade, which some call “the water bear” certainly does have an interesting look to it. When this creature is fully grown, it will only measure around 1.5 millimeters in length, but do not let its extremely small size fool you, as it will likely be one of the only life forms that may actually be able to outlive any armageddon scenario. Some scientists call the tardigrade an “extremophile”, and that is because it can survive some pretty extreme circumstances, like areas where the temperatures can reach up to 300 degrees fahrenheit or more. It is also able to survive in places where the atmospheric pressure can sometimes reach levels that are 1,200 times greater than normal; they are even able to survive in space with barely any difficulty. If that were not enough, the tardigrade can even go up to a decade without drinking water, and it can survive radiation levels that are at least 1,000 times deadlier to human beings.
1. Deinococcus Radioduran
Most people believe that if the world were to experience armageddon, that it would likely be the result of a nuclear war or some other form of nuclear catastrophe, and based on the state of the world right now, it is fair to see why many think this way. It is true that if the Earth were to experience a nuclear fallout, that most of the planet’s surface would be irradiated with extremely high and deadly levels of radiation, and as this list has shown, only a few species will be able to survive such an event. Deinococcus Radioduran is a bacteria (yes, bacteria are living creatures as well) and it has been nicknamed “Conan the Bacterium” by scientists because of the incredibly high resistances it has to extreme environments. In the prior entry on this list, it was mentioned that the tardigrade is known as an extremophile, but this bacteria is considered by scientists to be a “polyextremophile” because it is even more resilient than the tardigrade. This bacteria not only has the ability to quickly repair any damaged DNA (an ability which is trying to be used to help treat humans), but it also holds the record for being the most radiation resistant creature on Earth.