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Nature & Environment

Jellyfish is world's only "immortal" animal

By T.K. Randall
March 21, 2010 · Comment icon 28 comments

Image Credit: Wikipedia
A peculiar type of jellyfish native to the Carribean is believed to have a theoretically limitless life span.
The turritopsis nutricula jellyfish is able to cycle from a mature adult back to an immature polyp stage a limitless number of times meaning that it appears to be impossible for it to die of old age.
Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. Scientists say the hydrozoan jellyfish is the only known animal that can repeatedly turn back the hands of time and revert to its polyp state (its first stage of life).

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (28)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by DieChecker 14 years ago
I thought aging happened from damage to the DNA strands. The damage gets passed on when the cell divides. Maybe these jellyfish have a way to weed out the damaged cells so that only good ones get to multiply?
Comment icon #20 Posted by Promethius 14 years ago
Ohhh, does that mean its population will just keep growing and growing out of control? The numbers may be growing because we've lowered the numbers of turtles who would have eaten the jellyfish previously.
Comment icon #21 Posted by SV-001 14 years ago
I first saw this on yahoo and for some reason I got so excited. Hearing of an animal that can't die of old age seemed incredible and basically said anything is possible now!
Comment icon #22 Posted by ZixXxy 14 years ago
Damn it can't die of old age, that's pretty cool. I wonder how old the oldest jellyfish is.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Darkwind 14 years ago
It is a Whovian jellyfish. I am sure turtles find them very tasty so I wouldn't worry about them taking over as long as we don't do the turtles in.
Comment icon #24 Posted by danielost 14 years ago
i am sure that like everything else this still wears out.
Comment icon #25 Posted by cluey 14 years ago
That is really cool...........
Comment icon #26 Posted by Crow Woman 14 years ago
If we were able to do this, regenerate like this animal I mean, then would we also be making our brains grow back as an infant brain, right? If this were the case, even if we were to live practically forever, would we forget everything? It is very intriguing that this jellyfish can live forever, but it hasn't reached invincibility yet, lol.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Ashiene 14 years ago
Because they are able to bypass death, the number of individuals is spiking. They're now found in oceans around the globe rather than just in their native Caribbean waters. "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion," says Dr. Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute. This is reason enough that humans should never discover its secret of unlimited transdifferentiation. I certainly would not want an uncontrolled human population spreading its filth across this universe.
Comment icon #28 Posted by 1963 14 years ago
Would not be nice to be reincarnated as a jellyfish, then there would be no chance of becoming human again. Spending eternity as a jellyfish... If that's your passport photo Mutationman?...Then it would be an improvement!!!!..HA! HA! Just kidding!

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