Get Ready To Be Shocked by the Insane Ways Different Organisms Survive in this World

10-foot model of microscopic water bears also known as Tardigrades

What animal has the surprising ability to survive in temperatures far above boiling, and far below freezing, including surviving the exposure to the cold vacuum of outer space?  What if I told you this animal also is immune to radiation and can bounce back from total desiccation (state of extreme drought)? I know this sounds crazy, but yes, this creature actually exists… it is called a water bear, also known as a tardigrade.

This seemingly indestructible animal is just one of the astonishing creatures in the new exhibit “Nature’s Superheroes: Life at the Limits” at The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.  Get ready to be amazed and discover how some of nature’s most remarkable species have adapted to respond to the extreme conditions and challenges on this planet using their own unique superpowers.

Whether its super sensing abilities, extreme ways to secure a meal, dramatic defense systems, or creative reproduction strategies, nature’s superheroes employ surprising solutions at the extreme physiological and physical limits of life. This interactive exhibition features life-size and larger-than-life engaging models, informative videos, immersive environments, lifelike dioramas, and kinetic digital games.

Learning is fun (and an excellent date idea)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit Nature’s Superheroes exhibit with my boyfriend. Let’s just say it was a great learning experience with one surprise after the next. We discovered the existence of species we had never heard of. Some that impressed us were the aforementioned water bear, orchid bees, tubeworms, among others.

We learned so many shocking facts on how these organisms use their exceptional talents to survive and thrive in various environments! We learned how these discoveries are helping scientists shape their understanding of life on earth as well as other planets, with some organisms even holding promise for human medicine. The exhibit showcases a wide range of different organisms: plant and animal, aquatic and terrestrial, vertebrate, and invertebrate.

We had the opportunity to smell the pungent odor of a Rafflesia (corpse flower), the largest flower on the planet shown in actual size at the exhibit. Instead of making its own food like other plants, it emits a powerful odor similar to rotting meat to attract insects that pollinate the plant. In case you were wondering, yes, we could still smell it through our masks!

carrion flower
Smell the powerful odor of rotten meat that a Corpse flower uses to attract its next meal at the Rafflesia scent station

Throughout the whole exhibition, we could visualize these incredible creatures through engaging and interactive models, accompanied by comprehensive text and diagrams with explanations that are detailed enough for adults, but also understandable to children.

Combining Digital and Physical Experiences

Around the exhibit, you can find seating areas with iPads where you can watch informational videos or just take a minute to relax and watch the captivating models around you. An exciting highlight is the opportunity to test out the superpowers of various species from the exhibition in a kinetic digital game. Another favorite includes the chance to explore a mysterious cave inhabited by animals without eyes and learn how these organisms evolved to survive without sunlight.

Kinetic game
Testing out the superpowers of electric flame scallops in one of the kinetic digital games

Organized by the American Museum of Natural History, the exhibition will be on view through Sunday, April 11, 2021 inside the Hsiao Family Special Exhibition Gallery on the first floor of The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Admission to Nature’s Superheroes: Life at the Limits is included with all museum admission tickets,  allowing you to explore even more fascinating scientific discoveries.

For more information on the exhibit click here.

Safety First!

Frost Science Museum has increased safety precautions in order to keep guests, employees and the community safe, including mandatory face covering for all guests 2 and older. Guests must purchase their tickets online as the museum has implemented a limited daily capacity and timed ticketing.   For more information on COVID-19 safety measures and other policies at Frost Science Museum visit:


Nature's Superheroes
Seating area with iPads


elephant seal
Taking a picture with this Elephant seal life-size model (20 feet)