Search for Tardigrades

Would you like to see a tardigrade up close? The best way is by looking at it through a microscope.

If you don’t have one yourself, maybe you could use one at your school or at a nature center. A microscope that magnifies 15 to 30 times is strong enough to show tardigrades.


  • paper bag or envelope
  • small cup or other container
  • distilled or spring water
  • eyedropper


  1. Go outside and find some moss. It could be growing on the ground or even on a tree.
  2. Pull up a small clump of moss. Try to get a piece with as little dirt on it as possible.
  3. Put the moss into the paper bag or envelope to transport it to where there is a microscope.
  4. Put the moss face-down into the container. Add some water to cover it and leave overnight.
  5. The next day, take the moss out of the container and squeeze it so that the water goes into the container.
  6. Use the eyedropper to suck up some water. Squirt it onto a slide, then look at it under the microscope.

You may see a number of things moving around, since tardigrades aren’t the only tiny creatures that live in moss! But soon you may spot a tardigrade. It will look barrel-shaped and move slowly, and you might be able to see its legs as it crawls along. Once you find one tardigrade, you may start recognizing others. Happy hunting!


Learn more about tardigrades!