Could the secret to immortality be found within a particularly unusual species of jellyfish ?
German marine-biology student Christian Sommer had been researching small aquatic invertebrates off the cliffs of Portofino when he came upon an interesting and obscure species known as Turritopsis dohrnii. After spending time studying the specimens, Sommer started to realise that what he had found was something rather special. The strange creatures appeared to age in reverse, becoming younger and younger before repeating their life cycle over again.
Scientists would later describe this process as similar to a butterfly that turns back in to a caterpillar or even a chicken that turns back in to an egg before hatching again. In short, the species never dies - it just repeats its life cycle over and over. What Sommers had discovered was a form of life that could legitimately lay claim to the term 'immortal'.
"After several days he noticed that his Turritopsis dohrnii was behaving in a very peculiar manner, for which he could hypothesize no earthly explanation."
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Source: New York Times
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