YouTube | Simone Giertz

YouTuber Sends Her Brain Tumor To Antarctica And It's Oddly Beautiful

When we have to deal with an unexpected, scary challenge in life, there are a lot of ways we could potentially end up coping with it. Some will retreat and try to figure it all out for themselves, while others will surround themselves with friends because being alone makes them feel too vulnerable.

Still others will transform their struggle into a serious piece of art, while an entirely different person might want to turn the whole experience into a big joke.

YouTube | Simone Giertz

To some extent, one YouTuber has flirted with a few of these methods, but her biggest gesture to date is definitely unique to her.

For the past four years, Simone Giertz has been building strange robots on YouTube.

YouTube | Simone Giertz

In that time, she has delighted her audience of 1.5 million subscribers with the fruits of her engineering expertise.

Her creations are often intentionally bad and intentionally pointless robots like the Comment Assistant here.

YouTube | Simone Giertz

Which, yes, is a robot that argues on the internet by hammering a keyboard with a fake head.

However, within the last year, she started to post updates about something much more troubling: A brain tumor.

YouTube | Simone Giertz

Although her tumor was non-cancerous, she still required surgery to remove it because it can still do serious damage if it grows big enough or forms in a life-threatening place.

A non-cancerous brain tumor can show symptoms ranging from persistent headaches to seizures, vision problems, speech issues, weakness and paralysis, and even personality changes.

Flickr | markheadly123

According to the NHS, the size of the tumor greatly influences the symptoms, but can even include language issues like aphasia.

During the months she spent recovering from her surgery, she apparently had the slide of her tumor sent to Antarctica.

She did this through a friend named Ariel Waldman, who is known both for her work with NASA and her frequent scientific expeditions to the frozen continent.

Waldman was mainly in Antarctica to study tardigrades, which are also known as water bears.

According to National Geographic, these organisms are about as well-equipped as anyone can be for harsh environments.

They can survive up to 30 years without food, live in volcanoes, and have even been shown to survive after being left in space.

Giphy | Fox

It’s so tough, in fact, that scientists haven’t been able to figure out how to kill it. This perseverance is reflected in both this tiny bear, and in Giertz.

But it seems that Giertz's followers couldn't take their eyes off the striking image of that purple tumor in the vast tundra.

Some wanted to buy prints of it, but some also expressed feeling kind of weird about how much they suddenly wanted a picture of a tumor as decoration.

To a lot of them, it almost seemed like the tumor would crawl away and inhabit Antarctica like it was some strange alien life form.

Unsurprisingly, many of them started imagining this as what would eventually cause the events of the 1982 movie, The Thing.

However, anybody wondering how they're going to get a flamethrower to Antarctica need not worry.

YouTube | Movieclips

As Waldman later tweeted, she didn't actually leave the tumor in Antarctica, but rather brought it back with her.

After all, it's hard to do much research with purple Thing monster running around everywhere.

Unfortunately, it seems that within the last month, Giertz's tumor has returned.

YouTube | Simone Giertz

As she explained in a video, her tumor hadn't actually been fully removed during surgery because some of the pieces where in a particularly risky place to operate.

As doctors disclosed was a possibility had the time, those remaining pieces have grown into a new tumor.

YouTube | Simone Giertz

However, it seems that this time, surgery won't be necessary. Instead, Giertz is currently undergoing radiation therapy.

She seems to be taking it in stride, though.

And just like the tardigrade, she’s weathering whatever is being thrown at her — with the help of some friends, of course.