In the Star Trek Discovery Episode S1:E3 Context is For Kings - we see the Tardigrade - part of what enables the USS Discovery's Spore Drive (at the time).

The reason the Discovery harnesses the Tardigrade is its ability to travel along the mycelial plane, and thus transport the ship at faster than warp speeds.

Tardigrade on Discovery

In the Star Trek Voyager Episode S2:E10 Cold Fire we see the Nacene - a sporocystian lifeform with high-level technology and an apparently natural ability to navigate subspace.

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Now these two creatures appear to have similar, but not identical characteristics. Keeping in mind the Nacene appears to have better than human intelligence, whereas they were only just confident the Tardigrade was intelligent at all. They're both aliens that can travel at faster than Warp speeds and survive in the expanse of space. (They also both have a blue-glow).

Indeed, the following commentator writes:

Is there a relationship between the Tardigrade and the sporocystian life form from Voyager?

My question is: Is there evidence for a common ancestor between the Discovery's Tardigrade and Voyager's Nacene?

  • 1
    This is called Small-Universe Thinking. Nov 18, 2017 at 3:37
  • 1
    Not sure what kind of answer you're looking for. It's a bit like asking if there's a relationship between elephants and humans because they both live on Earth. Perhaps you could be more specific about what you're asking in regards to how they relate. Nov 18, 2017 at 10:08
  • 1
    Thanks, that's helpful. I've updated the question.
    – hawkeye
    Nov 18, 2017 at 11:52
  • Is it Tartigrade or Tardigrade? You have both spellings.
    – Peter M
    Nov 18, 2017 at 12:58
  • Thanks, that’s helpful. I’ve updated the question.
    – hawkeye
    Nov 18, 2017 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


At this point in time, it appears that there is no direct evidence (as in, basically nothing beyond the suggestive similarities given in the question) of any connection between the two life forms. Of course, that may well change as the Tardigrade's nature is explored more in Discovery and other works.

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