We might take the question seriously, though with a wink
and present some answers, of course: in some respects the usefulness of tardigrades
appears quite questionable. It might be cumbersome to collect enough of them for a dish,
and - when keeping in mind the tinyness of taedigrade eggs - omelettes and sunny-side
down preparations will be possible only under a microscope equipped with a heatable stage.
But the verdict might be even more negative: as the tardigrades are well known to
feed on moss they could be considered as parasites, yes? But on the other hand,
when thinking about a typical gardeners' fight against those mosses, the tardigrades
might come in handy and help us avoid the use of algicide, right?
Besides, in case you should like bright sandy beaches, it would be
worth while to note that marine tardigrades are actually feeding on microscopic
algae on sand grains - thus helping to keep your beach tidy!
In recent years some remarkable direct commercial use ot tardigrades has arisen:
the internet market. When looking around in the internet you will notice innumerable offers
of tardigrade fan material - tardigrade figurines, tardigrade plush toys,
tardigrade forage (not kidding!), DVDs with tardigrades as computer game actors,
nature film DVDs, tardigrade T-shirts, tardigrade coffee mugs, tardigrade shopping bags etc.
Moreover, the tardigrades are perfectly usable to fill magazines and YouTube productions
in times where other cheap material is missing. Besides, scientific funding might
be easier to achieve when some cuddly tardigrades are presented as the object of
investigation or as a funny aside in respective PowerPoint presentations.
So, when considering all this, the initial question might be not as stupid as thought - funny, isn't it?