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A view of the city of Munich - slightly different (I)

Virtually all of our readers are probably aware of the fact that our e-zine isn't intended to be scientific - even though you can trust that every reported tardigrade fact is absolutely true. On the most obvious level our tiny magazine is dealing with the biology of tardigrades. But behind this biology we want to point out that looking at the tardigrades is like looking into a mirror. Thinking about our existence on earth, how we are fitting into the scenery and finding out that our environment might be even more bizarre than we had been thinking before looking through our microscope (besides: just enjoy life as long as you can and do not hinder others from doing so!).

The more sober scientists among you might critizise that we were "humanizing" those tardigrades. And yes, that is exactly what we are going to do in this issue of the Water Bear web base: humanize the tardigrades in order to learn about our own position on earth.

In this and the following issues we will concentrate on the urban area, as seen from the perspective of a tardigrade. This is pure fiction of course, not biology. Just have a look:

[ A tardigrade's perspective 1 ]

This might be a very low point of view for a human being - but perfectly natural for a tardigrade which is living somewhere within the crevices of the urban pavement. The photograph is showing a Munich street (Grillparzer street) from a really low point of view. The next settlement (a green moss crevice on the left) might be within reach in case of rain. Two cigarettes deposited by human beings are obviously disturbing the splendid view.

[ A tardigrade's perspective 2 ]

The tardigrades must take care to avoid fresh chewing gum when crossing those pavement areas. Within fractions of seconds their tiny legs might be caught by the tacky gum.

[ A tardigrade's perspective 3 ]

But you can trust on the fact that all this sticky chewing gum will convert into less sticky black spots which can be safely trespassed by the tardigrades during rain events.

[ A tardigrade's perspective 4 ]

From time to time travelling tardigrades have to pause at a moss oasis. One problem for those tardigrades might be that most human beings have a sad tendency to loose their consumables everywhere in town. But the object shown here is still on the positive side, in particular when keeping in mind that the residues of the dogs are much less appealing (we abstain from a respective illustrating close-up photograph here).

[ A tardigrade's perspective 5 ]

Besides those humans will remain a mysterium. Just have a look at this micro waste dump in the very center of Munich. The old tardigrade called Max (which has been quoted in one of our previous issues) says that this dump is connected to strange noises encountered every few years when those humans are celebrating a so-called "soccer" event.

[ A tardigrade's perspective 6 ]

After having faced this polychrome catastrophe the normal urban cement appears less terrifying and comparatively clean.

[ A tardigrade's perspective 7  ]

Those suburban regions in proximity to iron parts are obviously most attractive: chances are high that moisture will condense on the iron on a regular basis!

After having listened to some virtual tardigrade opinions you will hopefully look forward to the upcoming reports in the next issues!

© Text, images and video clips by  Martin Mach  (webmaster@baertierchen.de).
Water Bear web base is a licensed and revised version of the German language monthly magazine  Bärtierchen-Journal . Style and grammar amendments by native speakers are warmly welcomed.

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