Meet the world’s only immortal animal

If you’re thinking McLeod, you couldn’t be further from the truth. What you have to do is think small; not microscopic, just big enough to see with your naked eye. Turritopsis nutricula is a hydrozoan, and it’s considered by scientists to be the only animal that cheated death.

hydrozoaSolitary organisms are (according to current belief) doomed to die, after they completed their life cycle. But Hydrozoa don’t live by normal rules. Nope, Hydrozoa are a huge class of predatory animals that live mostly in saltwater, closely related to jellyfish and corals. Eggs and sperm from an adult jellyfish (medusa) and they then develop into polyp stage. Medusae evolve asexually from polyps.

Still, our Turritopsis nutricula (can I call it Joe?) managed to find a way to beat that. What these little folks do is they revert completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after they reach sexual maturity. They’re even cooler than that. When they’re young they’ve got only several tentacles, but at a mature stage, they get to 80-90 of them.

They’re able to return to polyp stage due to a cell change in the external screen (Exumbrella), which allows them to bypass death. As far as scientists have been able to find out, this change renders the hydrozoa virtually immortal.

Written by



  • Ethan

    They are no more immortal than most reptiles, which can live forever until they are killed by predation, disease, or a similar outside force.

    They may be the only hydrozoa that are “immortal,” but they are certainly not the only animals that are.

  • http://undisclosed Joseph Xijn Clarke

    I think you’re right.

  • halitus

    i dont think you understand Ethan
    reptiles arnt immortal they do die of old age
    these creatures are amazing because they become young again they kind of grow a new young body inside in parallel with their old cells so that after a while only new young cells remain

    im sure they will eventually die i don’t think they could continue that indefinitely

    it would be interesting to know how much memory is retianed over their cycles

  • http://www.mareacaspica.com Mihai Andrei

    Yes, halitus is right; reptiles do die of old age. I’ll be keeping an eye out for related studies, as the memory between life cycles is really interesting (as would be the reason why they evolved this way, and why others haven’t).

  • Ethan

    Well, not all reptiles can live forever, but there are species that exhibit “negligible” senescence. Most of these have been assigned a maximum theoretical lifespan of close to 200 years, but we really don’t know if they can live past that or not. Usually external factors contribute to their death long before that, and I’m sure it is much the same with these hydrozoa.

    Either way, this is a unique and incredible discovery, and I’m not trying to belittle it.

  • ben

    I’m guessing you read that rather dubious stumble article, reptiles do not live for ever they age but very slowly.

  • Evan

    Ethan is right. Some reptiles, including several species of turtles, are immune to old age. Unlike humans and other mammals, once they reach sexual maturity, they stop aging.

    Don’t believe us? Check out an article about it in the New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/12/science/12turt.html?_r=1

  • http://dadapapa.teerun.de dadapapa

    If anyone is interested in the evolutionary origin and function of death, I recommend this nice talk by George Wald, one of the main contributors to the origin of life research: http://www.elijahwald.com/origin.html

  • steve

    Who wrote this? This article is an example of some of the worst writing. Goes hand in hand with other bloggers and content authors these days. Does no one read what they write aloud?

    “…after they completed their life cycle.”
    “…after they complete their life cycle.”

    “Eggs and sperm from an adult jellyfish (medusa) and they then develop into polyp stage.”

    Thee above sentence is just plain wrong. “…from an adult jellyfish … (and do what?) and they then develop..)” What do they do before they “develop into polyp stage”?

  • Coconut

    Good comments Ethan, Evan and Halitus… However I think the definition as immortal is different than of a reptile.. Reptiles can get killed, while by definition (immortal) these hydrozoans can’t be killed.( most likely they can be killed)

    The title is just a little exaggerated… but we get the point..

  • Pingback: A Perfect life « The Bee Buzz

  • Anthony

    If I took it out of water, it will die. Thus, not immortal.

    This thing ain’t special either. There are many creatures that could live many years past reaching maturity without aging.

  • lee

    omg, having a long life is not the same as not aging. you idiot.

    read this part: “… which allows them to bypass death”

    and then this guy comment: “im sure they will eventually die i don’t think they could continue that indefinitely”

    if its cheating death, then its not going to die (not from aging). wich means unlimited cycles. you idiot.

    otherwise this post is just useless, and a lie.

  • SenorAfro

    so what – i’ve got a timelord in my garage that does the same thing

  • Evan

    Is it just me, or are the new arguments much less formal and full of logical fallacies?

  • Ethan

    “As far as scientists have been able to find out, this change renders the hydrozoa virtually immortal.”

    There are two important qualifications in that sentence: “As far as scientists have been able to find out” and “virtually.”

    Common sense tells us that the ability to actually live forever would be impossible to verify empirically, whether it is for turtles or for hydrozoa. Stop calling people idiots.

  • jhoffrey

    Hmm, interesting article. Very well written. You should consider skipping kindergarten.

  • http://ARGH!.com Arrrgh!

    Time to thumbs-down this article. Science for the intellectually challenged written by the grammatically inept

  • http://www.commentluv.com Andy Bailey

    reptiles might live forever or they might not but, one thing is for sure, there’ll always be trolls who feel the need to spend minutes of their life berating a strangers’ article rather than continuing to stumble or close the tab.

    Looking at some of the comments, I thought I was on youtube for a moment there!

    Personally, I thought it was an interesting article. If I wanted my articles to be scientifically proven and grammatically correct then I wouldn’t be using stumbleupon.

    p.s. I like to troll trolls

  • http://n/a James Baxter

    Awesome !! This fantastic article, or rather the comments, gave me Great entertainment!

    Always a good laugh to see all the web urchins out there completely miss the point on a great article and comment their heart out about a useless crap.

    They all got caught up with a single word “immortal” and ignored the wonders of the article and what a neat creature this really is.

    I had recently heard the same about some species of turtles where their cellular degeneration rate stops after reaching their “maturity” leaving them in a state of seemingly frozen age.

    Imagine the age of creatures like this on the earth today if humans where not polluting it at a fantastic rate and beating it like it was a 7 years old pinata birthday prize. :)

    Cheers, thanks again for this wonderful post.
    -Jim

  • Spuffler

    So, I must ask: how long have these lived in captivity while being OBSERVED? I’m just wondering if this is a ‘theoretical’ or a ‘so far no deaths seen’ thing.

  • cowmaster22

    WOW!!

  • Myona

    Great comments by Ethan, Spuffler, steve, and Andy Bailey. It doesn’t matter whether they (or turtles/reptiles) die of old age or not in this case, because it is not relevant to the blog post. (I’m not saying that it’s not important, but there’s a time/place for everything.) It’s amazing enough that we’ve found our phoenix of the sea, even if the blog post itself is in serious need of grammatical editing.

  • Randy Burks

    It is an interesting article! I am curious to know if plants may be included in this discussion on immortality. They are organisms as well; and some have been documented to live indefinitely. Take the Aspen tree for example. The trees that we see clustered in their lemon colored groves at the hight of autumn are actually sprouts from the same rizome/root. The larger the grove, the more ancient the plant. The largest grove straddles the border of Utah and Idaho. Scientists have proclaimed it one of the oldest known species ever discovered and have taken steps to protect it. Funguses that carpet the underlying layers of leaves and dirt, eating the discarded and dead have massive weaving mats that stretch for acres. They posess both animal and plant charactoristics. Funguses are so pervasive and renewable in their growth structure that botanists have yet to even guess at the age of some of those mysterious,underworld colonies. There is even a type of shrub whose roots radiate out in a circular pattern. It lives in desert regions and is considered one of the longest living organisms on the whole planet. The time for the ring of roots and its attending shrubs to broaden it’s circumfrence by one meter takes two and a half thousand years. The largest ring is over a mile on circumfrence. There are many plants and probably many animals that might be considered immortal that we have yet to discover. (Also, please forgive my spelling errors.) It is an exciting article I hope that scientists and researcher find many more ‘Methuselas’ hidden in the nooks and crannies of our great planet.

  • http://none kalandagan

    If an organism is capable of evolving into immortality don’t you think it result to overpopulation of that species……..

  • Ethan

    It would if they didn’t have any natural predators. However, I’m sure they do, so they get eaten just like any other animal.

  • Bobby R.

    You guys are missing the point of this article completely, that thing looks delicious. Where can I get one?

  • http://BobbyRsBrother.com Bobby R’s Brother

    ..didn’t you swear not to eat things you find on the internet?

  • YAERPPR

    These idiots missed something. If you take those out of watyer, they go into suspended animation. One was taken ut and put in after 2 years, and it lived on.

  • http://www.biolbull.org/cgi/reprint/190/3/302 Mark

    Right, well, firstly, I think it’s fascinating that these can renew themselves in such a manner; recenlty, it was suggested that similar traits might be triggerable in human cells, but I think that will take a great deal more time. Anyways, I would like to address YAEPPR, and say that similarly, several pollens and seeds from thousands of years ago, and also waterbears (if you don’t know what they are, google them, they’re amazing little creatures) can stand suspended animation for periods in excess of ten years. I do agree, we need some clarification of the term immortal. Immortal, in this context I believe should be taken to mean incapable of death by old age. It is true that several testudines (turtle and tortoises), specifically tortoises (I recall reading an article specifically about Galapagos tortoises) “suspend” the rate of decay within their bodies after reaching maturity. INdeed, no-one has thus far been able to prove that they can succumb to death by old age, but it is not that which eventually kills them, but instead pollution, toxins in the air, starvation, predation, etc. Theoretically, thus far, it is thought that they can, much like this creature, continue to exist for increidble tracts of time. Unlike this creature however, the tortoises are not generating new bodies for themselves every so often – which is what this article seems to suggest that the Hydrozoa can do. As Ethan said, they do have predators however – Turtles, for one, feed on jellyfish and other gelatinous bodied sea dwellers. For a creature to be truly immortal – that is, incapable of succumbing to death – it would have to have no predators and perfect conditions all the time, which we know is not technically possible.
    Randy, I think you have a very fair point about the plants. And indeed, I don’t think we will ever truly know how old some of the subterranean fungi are.
    To that end, I think this is quite a funky process, and it’s interesting that it’s unique within the animal kingdom (note – there is a possibility that this can be observed in plants too), but it’s an overstatement to state that these creatures are immortal.

    If you want to know where this article came from, click my name thing – it’s a link to the article published in The Biological Bulletin. It’s quite interesting. Much more scientific than this article, which was obviously simplified for the general view of the public.

    Enjoy.

  • yourmom

    So if I shot, stabbed or even bombed this animal it would still be alive? How then can it be immortal? EVERYTHING CAN DIE, NOTHING IS IMMORTAL!! DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THAT WORD EVEN MEANS?

  • biologist

    FOR THE RECORD:

    Even animals whose organs don’t degrade over time are not immune to old age. Any biologist will tell you that your cells lose DNA every time they replicate, and eventually they start cutting out important information. Most bacteria are immune to this phenomenon because they have circular DNA, and the process can be slowed or stopped with DNA-lengthening enzymes, but animals haven’t evolved enough to overcome it as an obstacle.

  • Mark

    be that as it may, Biologist, fact remains that no scientist knows the true lifespan of the tortoises. We simply don’t have enough time to find out.

  • Ethan

    Biologist, I am not aware of any studies specifically establishing that tortoises are subject to cellular senescence.

    By the way, when you say “DNA-lengthening enzymes,” are you referring to telomerase?

  • Matt

    Incredible!
    Interesting and upbeat! Fabulous nugget of information. Ecspecially considering the overall tone in the U.S. right now.
    Thank you for sharing such a wonderous creature.

    Very Bejamin Button!
    Matt of VA

  • http://gamesrevue.com Nestor

    They may live forever but are they having fun? Doesn’t look like it

  • Pingback: Edina nesmrtna žival na svetu | štibelc

  • Luis

    Every cycle should be fun

  • CuriousI

    Some people commenting on this article seem to not understand the whole point of the article. This article does not mean that these hydrozoa are literally immortal, the article is emphasizing on the fact that the process of which these hydrozoa go through after maturity, if external factors such as pollution and diseases are excluded, theoretically enable them to live forever. Meaning that age is a factor but they get a reset button to start all over again. So, stop getting all obsessed on the “immortal” and think of the “process”. They definitely live longer because of this process but their immortality is dependent on external factors that may affect their productions of new cells.

  • CuriousI

    Ohh, and I think I am also ageless. Everyone who sees me, who have not seen me for a long time, say that I look the same, and highly emphasize that I have not changed at all. So, I am the first ageless human in the world. I guess that’s one for humanity and one or two or three for the animal kingdom

  • Pingback: World's only immortal animal - Dendroboard

  • Darkbob

    “Time to thumbs-down this article. Science for the intellectually challenged written by the grammatically inept”

    What a fine example of the queen’s English!

  • Sleepwalker

    wow… i must ask who cares? i mean yes it can supposedly live forever (without disease, pollution, natural predators etc.) but its still a minute creature, and since it is related to the jelly fish, i assume it has no brain matter whatsoever, therefore it doesn’t matter if it can live forever, its more like a piece of scenery than an animal. idk it just seems useless to me that so many of you had to defend this poorly written article… now Ethan’s comments actually interest me, cause turtles are freakin awesome! and to me, the thing about them not aging could create an interesting line of research (PETA would like it but who cares?)

  • 米沢 ベイビイ!

    As an English teacher, I have to agree with those complaining about the grammar. When a writer omits verbs from an independant clause it renders the sentence incomprehensible. This looks like it something accidentally got deleted. Still, this is not a long article. How hard would it be to have a second person give it a once-over before posting it?

  • Chaz

    Anyone else out there remember the game “METROID”?

  • http://projectsbusinessmanagement.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/project-issues-every-manager-should-prepare-for/ syrhiz

    this world is filled with awesome creatures!! thumbs up!!

  • http://www.metalocalypse.com Toki Wartooth

    can you imagine going through puberty over and over? shit would be nuts!

  • James

    @ Halitus,

    Your arguement falls at the suggestion that new cells replace the old ones and thats what makes it immortal.. because if i remember, humans shed old cells and replace them with new ones, in fact thats what makes us live….

  • someone who paid attention during biology class

    DNA can only replicate itself through mitosis so many times, telomeres, junk DNA at the ends of the actual code are lost every time cells replicate. (with the exceptions of stem cells and cancerous cells which produce an enzyme called telomerase that produce telomers.)

    If there is not stage in the life cycle without a period where telomeres are produced, then the animal can and will die of “old age”. Cells recognize that the telomeres won’t last forever and start to replicate slower as the telomeres get shorter and shorter, which is why we see “aging”, when cells don’t heal as quickly and bodies start to degenerate to extend the lifespan of the organism.

    Ethan’s reptiles may have a long life-span, but cannot live forever, they are subject to aging like all other organisms. However, this jellyfish like creature however, may actually be able to keep itself alive for an indefinite amount of time.

  • james

    Everything that lives, exits, or is thought about, is immortal. Life is no more real than the spiritual goo that caused it in the first place. The question is not if the jellyfish is immortal, the question is why do we think it is?
    Death is only transition, life is only the result of that transition. Somethings evolved past the transition stage and simply stay and exist. Your death and rebirth cycle is immortality. Find yourself, an you will see this for yourself.

  • Dom

    well steve, as per your comment on the 7th, you should not be commenting on the responses of other people. in your “rant” the word “thee” is used wrong, this spelling refers to the term “you.” ill use it in a sentence…..”how art thee.” so either you dont proofread or your just “that guy” who always has to nay say. either way your wrong so have a nice day.

    -Dom

    P.S. you could also use some work on your grouping of words, its call a sentence.

  • http://hoeno.blogspot.com Lucy from Hoeno

    That IS way cool. Hey, you don’t mean MacLeod as in Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod, do you? Because, he’s wayyyy hotter than that thing. I don’t mean to be shallow. If you mean Connor…I can see that.

  • Nicholas B

    Immortal simply means one doesn’t deteriorate. Humans can do this with meditation and raising the frequency they and the environment vibrate at, so they’re able to facilitate more direct energy into their systems thus rejuvenating the cells (look up higher dimensions and levels of vibration). Invincible is when a collective aspect of something, i.e. water still remains in it’s aspect no matter what.

    At the end of the day, nothing actually dies or gets destroyed. It is simply a large cycle. An example of this is water again; it freezes and becomes ice, it breaks then forms smaller blocks of ice, it melts and eventually the water either rejoins with another body of water or it evaporates and condenses back into liquid form.

    However, like many pointed out, i.e. the immortal reptile discussion. It is very possible but due to factors of this low, dense vibration the Earth is operating at, it is harder for organisms to harness direct energy to facilitate their needs such as longevity.

    Which leads me to throw out a question. Which lives longer, the Elephant or the Mouse? And why?
    To answer this, look at how their mind’s operate. A hint: the mouse is very linear, based solely on survival and basic instincts; reproduction, safety, food. Now the Elephant also does this, as do all animals. However, they are able to do a lot more, where it seems their level of conscious is way more expanded than the Mouse.

    To further understand this, you’d have to look into consciousness and spirit.

  • Dean

    Disregard what Nicholas B says above me. He’s confusing his spirituality and mysticism with the concrete, scientific world. Humans can’t change the “frequency at which their environment vibrates” – whatever the hell that means. Just because you read a factoid in a book that aligns with your personal belief system, doesn’t mean it’s correct, or even real. There is such a thing as bad science.

    As for this article – it’s only four paragraphs in length. First grade book reports are four paragraphs in length. It isn’t until the last sentence that we get something that sounds even remotely educational or scientific. I’d be hesitant to go around regurgitating this story as fact.

  • vincent

    uhm if you eat it it lives on….unless……well see they can regenerate for eternity!…but if you take out the regulating system or “brain” it can nver survivve….we can control our body untill we die unless you cut our brain out

  • Feliz Navidad

    Feliz Navidad…..Feliz Navidad….Hezeto nanya hezeto nanya feliz nedad……I wanna wish you a merry Christmas….I wanna wish you a merry Christmas…….I wanna wish you a merry Christmas from the bottom of my heaart <3 :)

  • http://www.internetovehry.cz Online hry zdarma

    These animals looks very ugly …

  • Lauren

    So….from a completly non-scientific standpoint, these things are like Elves. Unless something (an outside force of any nature) kills it, IT WILL NOT DIE.

  • Nikita

    I found this article to be very interesting :D
    Keep publishing :D

    Merry Chirstmas!

  • K

    Anthony Says:
    December 7th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    If I took it out of water, it will die. Thus, not immortal.

  • william

    Interesting. A hydroid that probably contains an enzyme which annihilates its adult cell structure. It seems like recombinant mutation developed at a primordial point for self preservation due to climatic stimulus. Practically immortal in the sense of many many lifetimes lived end to end. Sort of reminds me of a regenerating tail of a lizard or arm of a star etc.

    Holy trigger mechanism BatFish!

    Congratulations to the believers of immortality.

  • http://mamafonfon@yahoo.com tranztopoleez

    This is interesting, but I would not use the term immortal.

    I didn’t read through all the comments so maybe this point has already been made but does anybody see the relation between this thing “becoming young again” and the process of reproduction?

    I think Halitus touched on the key variable here, how much memory is retained through this process? If none then I don’t see any difference between this and human reproduction except that the organic matter that makes up it’s body is just recycled, which in a way is also true for humans, just not as literally.

    If all memory is retained, then I guess we won’t really know if it’s the same as human reproduction until the theory of ancestral memory is proved or disproved.

  • jimmypockets

    yall are sum funny people.

  • Nicholas B

    Dean: the fact is it “concrete” makes it too rigid for change, hence the reason you were so fast to discredit me with nothing to back it up.

    All you said was simply: “ignore him I don’t understand him wtf?”

    Everything is a collective of particles that vibrates at a certain wavelength, everyone knows that. The level of conscious that one or a collective operates will either raise or lower the surrounding vibration. The reason you laugh when someone else laughs, or the reason war can never equal to balance in it’s self. Pretty simple stuff.

    People who judge and analyse the messenger completely; this usually points out to the fact they have nothing to say about the substance of the message.
    If you do not understand something and it doesn’t fit in with your ‘belief system’ simply ask and you will find the common ground.

  • Jaocob

    hold on let me revert to a cell, hop in a uterus and im good to go

  • M

    Is this like their way of reproduction, or are they able to reproduce in a way that has nothing to do with this phenomenon?

  • Pingback: "Immortal" animal has possibly been discovered

  • http://laurenpkennedy.wordpress.com Lauren Kennedy

    Hi,

    Personally, I think it is a fascinating process. It underscores the wide variety of evolutionary diversity on earth.

    I’d like to thank the author for sharing this interesting fact with us. I believe the focus of this blog is science, not grammar. If we criticized the grammar used in many popular songs, we’d have to discard most of the CD’s.

    As far as if this animal is truly immortal, it is a moot point since our short live spans would prevent us from directly observing that fact. Besides, are we talking about immortal from the standpoint of merely the physical animal, or the memory or consciousness of the animal, or the spirit of the animal?

    It is a fascinating philosophical discussion but not the point of the information that was presented.

    Water bears are hardly little things. Maybe they are aliens. They could have survived a meteor ride through space.

    Steve, you have an impressive knowledge of grammar. Not many people would have even noticed that completed was the incorrect tense.So kind of you to educate us by pointing out the author oversight.

    I would enjoy learning more unusual nature facts. Please don’t hesitate sharing them due to uncertainty about your grammatical astuteness.

    lauren

  • TVC

    Well there is no such cause of death called “old age” it is something within the body which fails wich causes the death. couldn’t we technically be immortal if we could renew our organs and such?

  • Jason Livesay

    Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “born again”.

  • http://www.immobiliari.tv john

    what do you mean is that it can reverse her own growth process????
    if this is the case, i’m shocked just a little because if you recall, in the bible it is written something about an apostle that will never die!

  • http://buttpuggers.com Rico

    Steve I agree, I had to read that sentence a few times before I realized it was a mistake.. I was confused as hell . hehehe

  • Pingback: weapons of massdistraction

  • Incredible Hulk

    Misspellings and grammatical erros suck but they always seem happen especially when you call attention to it.

  • jacob467

    I LIKE TURTLES

  • jacob467

    II LIKE COCONUTS

  • t man

    nice article interesting comments

  • MikeoB

    Chaz: yes I remember Metroid! Excellent series! :D

  • http://www.stevenborthick.com Steven Borthick

    The comments were primarily intelligent for the first half. They should require a filter on this site so people can’t post things like “I LIEK TURTLES” or “I LIKE COCCONUTS”. :( Seriously??

  • Richard “Rich” Gibson

    Has anyone done an analysis of the telomeres of these creatures as they continue to “renew” themselves? If the telemores have get smaller after rounds DNA replication then the definition of immortal would be innacurate as eventually once the telemores have fully deteriorated then coding DNA would be lost and the organism may begin to have its functions impaired.

  • heart

    I did not read all of the blogs. So perhaps my question was answered. How can we use this creature to benefit man kind?

  • Gustav

    it’s obvious this title is a bit over exaggerated, what it means is if there’s no external factor to their life cycle as in sickness, predators, pollution, etc.. these animals can live forever, just like turtles can live a couple of centuries, what intrigues me though and i would like to look it up if they ever make an article about it, is their ability to retain memory, if they can retain it, which would be awesome so see if the cellular change in their bodies affect or doesn’t affect their brain capacity

  • rwm

    Interesting and thought provoking little article.

    It reminds of the case of the parthenogetic lizard. Lizards, by chance of their peculiar biology, are prone to becoming parthenogenetic, that is, females spontaneously develop the ability to give birth without mating. While this offers an immediate advantage to the individual, the parthenogenetic species both loses the ability to adapt and change and, perhaps more importantly, accumulates deleterious mutations. Parthenogenetic species rapidly become extinct. Theres a reason that incest is taboo in human cultures.

    Fish, Reptiles, and no doubt many other animals don’t undergo a senescence process that mammals are subject to and we humans take as a given process in the world at large. Generally speaking, animals grow and reproduce and are eventually either eaten or diseased (which is akin to being eaten, just by something small instead of something big). If all else fails, animals are doomed to death by accumulation of deleterious mutations, i.e. cancer.

    In the end, this animal simply oscillates back and forth between a feeding form and a reproductive form, and that is the unique aspect of the system. It isn’t immortal any more than most animals are, but thats not the point. It truly is, as a poster above pointed out, a “phoenix”.

    Calling this animal “immortal” is a result of being trapped in human conventions. The two life cycles of the hydrozoan do not represent “youth” and “old age” in the human sense of the words. They are body forms suited to different activities, in this case feeding and distribution versus reproduction. We have attached labels of youth and maturity because of the order in which they tend to appear… of course growth must occur before reproduction, but there is no rule that says that this cycle can’t continue. In fact it contiues over and over again in most of the animal world.

    A more accurate way of looking at it is that humans possess both of these “life phases” simultaneously. We don’t feed and travel and then morph into some completely different body form and make babies. We do it all at once! This creature is a stomach on legs, then it becomes all gonad, then it turns back again.

  • james-bahrain

    wait whats that what i know what that is thats the sound of zombies!!!! how much u wuna bet scientists are test the stuff from the jelly in humans its all guna go horibly wrong and it will be resident evil all up in this shit

  • james-bahrain

    wait whats that what i know what that is thats the sound of zombies!!!! how much u wuna bet scientists are test the stuff from the jelly in humans its all guna go horibly wrong and it will be resident evil all up in here

  • billybob

    @ Ethan.

    Reptiles cannot live forever. Their cells break down over time and they are subject to the same aging processes as you and I. While they may have long lifespans, they are by no means immortal.

  • Brandon

    hmmmmmm is there any memory retention???? Who cares….. all they do is swim swim swim , eat eat eat, regenerate, repeat. whats to remember?

  • Josh Gaal

    So if these animals are “virtually” immortal, how long is one expected to live? There has to be at least one in a lab or a zoo that has undergone observation. Perhaps the term immortal is refering to the fact that it regenerates itself, remaining forever young until killed off by something or other.

  • http://www.angelmassb.co.nr Angel Mass

    They should name it, “Highlander”

  • gunther

    shut up ethan ohhhh

  • RagidyMan

    THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE !!!

  • Highlander

    There can be only one!

  • Pingback: Justin Leach » Little Jellyfish Cheats Death, Death Is Pissed

  • Pingback: Immortal Jellyfish « Comfortable Jellyfish

  • supernova_hq

    This is to all you people saying that it cannot be immortal since you could bomb it, etc.

    Immortal does not mean “will not die”, it means “could not die.” An immortal being does not age, and therefore “could” live forever. To say something could never ever be killed is for it to be “Invincible.”

    Immortal: Does not age, but can be killed (think zoolander)
    Invincible: Can not be killed (think cockroach, well almost)

  • umm

    Not only is this article a complete grammatical mess, but it doesn’t even have a logical flow. Do you not have editors? I can’t even believe people are responding to this in a serious manner.

  • umm

    Also, to everyone saying that the point of this article is “science not grammar”: that’s beside the point. Grammar exists to enable communication, and if you’re going to write an article about science you should at least try to follow basic grammatical and structural rules (I hesitate to even call them “rules” because this article defies even the logical order of ideas that anyone who has ever had a conversation in English or various other languages should know without having actually studied grammar) so that others can understand.

  • Highlander

    I don’t think you people understand. See, I am the Turritopsis nutricula! I am Joe! I am HIGHLANDER. We Highlander are IMMORTAL. I was born 2,437 years ago. In that time, I’ve had three wives. The last was Shakiko, a Japanese princess… When Shakiko died, I was shattered. I would save you that pain.

  • http://www.resortluxurytravel.com wlliam

    Immortal is a long word. Immortal is a long time. Who is to say. Could it be longer than us only?

    Look up endospore for a tough nut to crack.

    william

  • Pingback: Tiny, delicate, squishy and immortal | Atheist Age

  • Pingback: The Immortal Animal « Delivis’s Blog

  • Pingback: There can be only one!!! « Speaker For The Dead

  • Pingback: Meet the world’s only immortal animal « Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

  • Kapryan Kennedy

    Interesting. However, the premise is degraded by the fact that the author uses the diction of an 8th. grader.
    Let’s vote.
    Shouldn’t science articles be “proof read” by the publisher’s mother.

    All in favor say…?

  • dardDetwoto

    There are 5 houses in five different colors
    In each house lives a different nationality.
    These 5 owners drink a certain beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.
    No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage.

    The CLUES:

    The Brit lives in the Red house.
    The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
    The Dane Drinks tea.
    The Green House is on the left of the White House.
    The Green House’s owner drinks coffee.
    The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
    The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
    The man in the center house drinks milk.
    The Norwegian lives in the first house.
    The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats
    The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
    The man who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
    The German smokes Prince.
    The Norwegian lives next to the Blue House.
    The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.
    The QUESTION:

    Who owns the fish?

  • asdfasdf

    are you stupid? there are no reptiles that are immortal. they die because of internal organ failure (just like every other animal dies). lets say an alligator gets shot in the head. it does not die from the bullet, but from the lack of brain function operating its internal organs. snakes, geckos, and lizards can all have brain aneurysms, pulmonary embalisms and all sorts of other complications due to the breakdown of their organs resulting from old age. this IS the only animal species that does not die from complications of old age.

  • Pingback: ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS PICKS « The Conservation Report

  • Pingback: FreThink » The world’s only immortal animal

  • Pingback: θοδωρής γεωργακόπουλος | Το Αθάνατο Ζώο

  • ed from ireland

    just thought i’d join the comment list and say aubrey the black aubrey the white and ubrey de gray area

  • AgeVivo

    Here is the most scientific text i could find about animals that may not age: fascinating:

    Some animal age, Others may not:
    http://www.senescence.info/nature.html

  • Pingback: Meet the immortal Jellyfish | stelpavlou.com

  • not so smart

    As far as I know the jelly fish does not have a brain, but a nerve ‘net’ with which they detect light, odour, and with which they taste, sense danger, and move. Same as the Turritopsis nutricula? So wihtout a brain, in my view, it’s more like a plant. What’s the point of immortality without thinking power? I guess this thing is called an animal, but I think the definition of “animals” is getting to big.
    But still pretty cool thing to do indeed.

    IF YOU ARE NOT NICOLAS B, DON’T READ THIS (saved you some time=)
    ps: Nicholas B……… At the end of the day, nothing actually dies or gets destroyed. It is simply a large cycle. An example of this is water again; it freezes and becomes ice, it breaks then forms smaller blocks of ice,
    …are you kidding me, you are nuts, don’t waist your life meditaing(most of the spiritual leaders out there are nuts and base theyr belives on invalid information), it’s to short for that, unless it’s a part of some anger manegment or something. Water do change to other stuff. If u add salt, and drives electrisity through it, it becomes oxygen and hydrogen, where is the wather then. And by the way, water is NOT a living thing!

    If you move your right hand up and down really fast all your life, it will grow older slower than the left hand (maby a second on 50 years, don’t have the math skills or time for this, read some quantum physsic) but even if your hand is younger than your left hand, it will suffer from Arthritis earlyer than the other. Same thing goes for your meditation, you might live 1 second longer, but you have wasted your life.

    And you say the elephant lives longer than the mouse because of the level of cousiusness. A nother false belife, it has to do with cell reproductions and how the organs are built up, and the size of them (partly anyway, not an expert on this feeld). But let’s take an example. waterbear (one celled organism) cousious level = 0 ( no brain) lifetime = 300 (10 000 years or something if you freez them down) Domestic pig, (one of the smartest animals) lifespan (10-20 years, (not sure)).

    And the reason you laugh when someone else laughs is not because of vibration of particals or waves or anything like that. It’s a social reaction. In many cases a sign of submisstion (like when a girl laughs because she likes you), to relive tention, or beacuase it’s suprisingly wierd and/or just funny, like your belives Nicholas B. If you don’t like a person you tend not to laugh at theyr jokes, even if the partikals are the same, hahaha.

  • Pingback: Daily Blog 0006 - Gremlins VOD… TINTIN, …of the dead and RL Immortal - John Cullen TV

  • Pingback: Exercises in Expanding Your Imagination = Pronoia « Pronoia Resources

  • Pingback: Criatura inmortal | Karmapanda

  • aegnor

    …I was wondering if anyone has tried to find out if there is any replicative senescence occuring to those animals… you know this is officially the name of old age death for all the animals: the shortening of the chromosomes due to the absence of TERT activity in those cell systems (much wider than “organisms”). If a cell system, with neural signs (you should know that just by having nerves, you can be called an “animal” inambiguously), can retain TERT activity for ever, his chromosomes are never going to shorten, cell cycle arrest is never going to happen, thus old age is not going to occur.

  • aegnor

    in fact “immortality” there, has a very leaky but absolutely specific meaning… every cell system can go only forward through his development, and this is molecularly determined in a protein- as well as in a nucleic acid-level manner. this jelly can go BACKWARDS… that’s stunning! nothing else has ever been seen to do that! nothing else can go back to its youth, and live his life again… those cells must have found something to overcome several problems that “mark” the cell as an “aged” one…..

    oh…
    and, since I’ve heard more than once that jellies are not a worthy form of animal-life, I have to remind everyone that since you haven’t looked deeply in those creatures’ biology, you are equally not worthy of posing Brain-possessing creatures above them…
    …if you want to know jellyfishes and squids, are far more complex, and wonderous than humans… I wonder what you could do with just a neural cord and a brain gagglion! Not to mention that those creatures have evolved by not a tinker’s curse for billions of years: that means that they are WELL-ADAPTED my friends. Smthng I could not say about Homos for example that are in such an evolutionary fever that a deregulation, and species downfall is really just round the corner! FITNESS and WELL-ADAPTATION is, above all, what life has proved that matters…

  • aegnor

    …and I just realised, that some BIOLOGIST has already mentioned all that. I assure you his was MORE than right!!!

  • John Bell

    Uhm

    Water Bears, anyone?

  • scientist

    the one on the picture is not Turritopsis nutricula, but Turritopsis rubra, not immortal friend of Turritopsis nutricula living by New Zeland. Turritopsis nutricula lives in western part of Atlantic ocean.

  • Anoynmous George

    okay lizards die of old age … the jellyfish “Bob” when its old will just change into a polyp and start all over again so if you want to find out how lod one is you could just kill one and then Carbon date the thing

  • Anoynmous George

    thought.. why dont we try to replicate the gene that does this and i dont know try it on a rat and if it works try it on a person?!

  • Anoynmous George

    and again finnaly yes it will die if you take it out of the water becasue.. it cant change into a polyp on land it will die if eaten..stomach acid is friendly for most life…it will die of you pour gasoline and burn it ..1: gasoline is dangerous to humans so i assume thats its dangerous to them and 2: fire is very dangerous DUH

  • Anoynmous George

    John Bell Water bears die but they can survive things we cant like 10000 rads of radiation or 300 degree farhnheit and -200 and the vacum of space

  • Ahmad

    What if we deep-fry one of these immortals??

  • Pek

    Species of the genus Hydra (also within the class Hydrozoan) are also considered biologically immortal. I believe they go through the same process of transdifferentiation as Turritopsis nutricula, but I’m not sure about that.

  • Pingback: Quirky Science Facts! - Page 64 - Science Forums

  • Anonymous

    I found this article very hard to read because of the grammar. Great subject, horrible writing.

  • http://random-timelines.blogspot.com/ Joel

    I ‘get it’ and am amazed! The *closest* humans have come to this and this still amazes biology, is human organ donation. -The heart of a 50-year old man given to a teenager will ‘become smaller’ and youthful to ‘match’ the needs of the body! -The heart is ‘regenerated’ for the lack any better term, and will live a ‘new life.’ There is no reason to believe that this process cannot be repeated again when this teenager is in his 50s or 60s… re-donate the heart to *another* youth and again, the heart ‘becomes young’ again!

    Other organs to the same thing… liver, kidneys, etc.. but HERE is an organism that does it on a full-body scale (despite being small body.) I am impressed!

  • Pingback: Top 10 new animals of 2008 | ZME Science

  • Fibo

    So, how do they break the Hayflick limit?

  • Pingback: Girl that doesn’t age baffles scientists: a 16 year old is an infant | ZME Science

  • http://mikeabundo.com/ Mike Abundo

    Here we are, born to be kings…

  • http://freemicrosoftpoints.com Jared Stenzel

    That is really cool! Not only are they immortal, but they also look pretty sweet.

  • Pingback: Giant files: Nomura and Lion’s mane jellyfish | ZME Science

  • Jables

    I wish you would take a few more English and writing classes Andrei. You’re articles contain interesting subject matter but are very poorly written. Stumble has brought me here several times, and I’m always just a little disappointed.

  • Ibu

    Its just a kind of media twist. all are fooled like I am, Do understand whats hidden behind but still commenting.

  • Pingback: Mindy’s Daily Links – 8/26/09 § Code Retard

  • Rabih

    Does a banana palm die? young shoots grow out from same plant and the old part of the palm dies but that dosent mean its the same palm i think the creature is showing characters like a tree its not immortal

  • William

    Someone had commented about a Banana Palm. I believe the off spring are due to vegetative propagation. I still think this thing buds out of an endospore.

  • philosopher mofo

    again we meet the theory of language problem,

    who defines what is immortal?
    communities of average people? the movies they watch? or scientists?

    if immortality would be matter that just doesn’t dissapear, then everything is immortal (but nuke’s cores) since matter, say, in a human after he dies is taken by the ground and used as food for plants, isn’t it?

    although, conservative sccientists may define it as permanent non-stop of body’s mechanisms
    even jurists may define immortal as something that can’t experience brain death only.

    conclusion:
    talking about immortality depens on WHO talks aboit it and what definition will they put to that word.

  • Pingback: Death is a function of evolution. | I am KrAzE – How to, Tutorials, DIY, Comedy, and Nerdy Things Galore

  • Vassel

    Maybe this is how humans will live forever. Going back and forth in life cycles.

  • http://www.wiipointscode.com/ Wii Points

    Thanks a lot for this post man. I’m becoming a fan of your blog, lol. I’m really into science, animals and space. An animal being able to cheat death, wow… that just sounds epic, I’ve never heard of this animal before. I’m surprised I haven’t seen it on Discovery/ History/ Animal Planet yet.

  • Pingback: immortal « 14bikeco’s Blog

  • burnout

    People Please.
    Stop knocking Andreis English.
    He has put up many sites which have got people talking and putting forward their ideas.
    Is that not what the net is all about?
    Sure tell him he is wrong if you think so or if you have proof.
    But don’t be petty and knock a few errors in text.

  • http://cdkeyads.com Zachery Hammargren

    Always keep working wonderful work!

  • Ray

    zomg it doesn’t simply grow a new organism it uses some kind of telomerase that extends the length of it’s telomeres which is the reason why anyone ages… basically a telomere is your lifespan and every time your cells replicate they lose a little bit off the end of the telomere

  • Zachary P.

    i just reacently started a project for my school talking about endangered animals and i came apon this magnificent creature and started reading this… blog i guess u could call it that… but i was reading what some people put and id like to make this very clear its not immortal that word is mearly used to discribe its seemingly endless lifetime im pretty sure if u stabed,shot, or bombed the creature it would die but metaphoricly if nothing messed with it and it lived without being harmed in anyway its livetime would be… quite possibly… for forever.

    thanks for reading this :) and id really appreciate it if anyone of u were a geologist or a form of scientist who would toutor me for i am only 14 years of age interested in the study of rocks and marine animals and that will hopefully be my future job… i am easy to teach im a fast learner and im very ethusiastic plz consider aiding me in my goal of being a geologist :)

  • Pingback: World’s only Immortal Creature « alwayssomethingcool

  • bitch-face

    Sometimes, especially when I eat pizza, I get diarrhea. It’s bad. I mean, we’ve all had the runny-poops before, but mine take “dreadful” and “vile” to the next level. In addition, my bowel control is nearly nonexistent in regards to this specific flavor of runny incontinence. It’s happened at school, home, work, and most horrifically…at a recent party. My humiliation was overwhelming.

    I wonder if these immortal animals also have problems with diarrhea.

  • Kat

    They don’t have brains so they don’t have memories. The amazing things about them is that they revert to a sexually immature stage and begin life again. It’s more like reversing the life cycle than being immortal. But they do however evade death by completing their life cycle. But not death.

    About the reptiles: Reptiles age much slower than humans, but that doesn’t make them immortal. We age a lot slower than some species of flies, they live only a few days, hours, or weeks. in optimal conditions. (depending on the species) But that does not make us immortal.

  • http://digg.com/story/r/supra_shoes_why_lie_to_her_supra_shoes_blog_news supra

    Too many Politicians offering something for nothing, and way too many people ignorant enough to beleive it.

  • Rachel25Lee

    Does the Turritopsis Nutricula have circular chromosomes? I’m not quite sure how that all works, but, if they have circular chromosomes, won’t they continue forever? Is that how immortality is achieved? There aren’t telomeres are the end of those chromosomes, so, do they not deteriorate?

  • Mammon

    These things are tasty, but they burn like hell coming out the back end. And it’s weird to have it keep swimming around in the bowl after a BM. Truely immortal.

  • http://yahoo enderias

    nothing is special don’t wonder but believe in Jesus.

  • Damola_1010

    u r CORRECT man!!!…lik dat…

  • Damola_1010

    lafin…lik dat …but u r funin man…

  • http://uriahtwolfe.newgrounds.com Uncle Clover

    Is there a way to read this page without all the social crap on the side (“share with reddit”, “like to facebook”, etc… etc… etc…) I can’t see the entire left side of the article and there seems to be no way to shut this crap off. :-? (Sorry for those to whom this isn’t an issue – I’m sure it’s just me…)

  • tibipuiu

    This is an issue caused by your screen resolution. I’ll talk to our technical staff soon to have this fixed. Thank you for letting us know. Have fun reading ZME Science :)

  • Pingback: The world’s only ‘immortal’ animal « Teperdexrian

  • Lkadfjlk

    your immortal queer

  • MarillionFan

    Don’t wonder but believe in Allah.

    Or the Buddha.

     

  • Anon

    No, that’s not even a thing. Stop being stupid.

  • you dont need to know my name

    dude, you do know that immortal, doesnt mean that you cant be killed right?

    the term “immortal” simply means that you cant die of age, think about the greek titan, Cronus. he was immortal, but when his son (zeus) supposadly chopped him to peices, he was dead.

    immortal means that you dont die of age or disease, but something can kill you.

  • Waltni14

    amen

  • Watchthattip

    Andrei, YOU wrote this interesting Science article real well and with intrigue, kept my attention to the end.. Good JOB! Blessings in all your School and Life Endeavors!

  • Anonymous poster

    *Eye roll*  And for those who aren’t Christians?  Some things just can’t be explained, religiously or otherwise.  This is just a fact of science.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000920353471 Tiernan Walker

    YOU FORGOT CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS =O

  • Pingback: Some Reasons I Don't Believe in Evolution - Page 84 - Christian Forums

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1453544723 Evan Plant Bradley

    Time Lord jellyfish!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1453544723 Evan Plant Bradley

    Time Lord jellyfish!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KTZ2GGBXYLIBJ3VDZHVWJAR2GE Robert F.

    You’re nearly illiterate.

  • RobertJC64

    sounds like a fd allergy or more like a lactose intolerance . very common . they have tabs that provide the enzyme to chg that fact do you have probs w/ reg milk ? bye

  • Pingback: Automatic backlinks generator

  • Ken

    Sea Turtles can live fore ever as well.  Who ever wrote this article is a dumbass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Miller/743275334 Matt Miller

    You’re such a fag, why on earth would you write such a long response about absolutely nothing? 99% of the people with the ability to read your post have already taken enough science classes to understand the whole matter can’t be destroyed or created concept. Clearly the definition of immortality (as used here) is that the organism would remain in its current life cycle, remain the same conscious state that it always has, and would not change into anything else. Also, not “everything is immortal”, you just have a shitty understanding of what “mortal” means, for instance a rock can neither be mortal nor immortal because it was never alive to begin with. Immortality doesn’t even fit this jellyfish because if one were to wash up on the beach and you smacked that motherfucker with a hammer believe it won’t be crawling back into the ocean to continue on its god-like lifespan. You’re lucky there are people like me in the world willing to waste my time to make people like you less of a bitch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Miller/743275334 Matt Miller

    When I’m 60 can I give my heart to a 16 year old until its youthful again and then take it back?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Miller/743275334 Matt Miller

    Jesus can choke on my dick

  • Devin

    This made my day

  • Fraser Chapman

    “Clearly the definition of immortality (as used here) is that the organism would remain in its current life cycle, remain the same conscious state that it always has, and would not change into anything else.”

    A Hydrozoa has no conscious state to remain in and it clearly does change into something else. Indeed changing states is the essence of the immortality of the animal.

    “Immortality doesn’t even fit this jellyfish because if one were to wash up on the beach and you smacked that motherfucker with a hammer believe it won’t be crawling back into the ocean to continue on its god-like lifespan”

    I think you are confusing the concepts of ‘imperviousness’ with ‘immortality’ – immortality is the *ability* not the *actually* of living forever. In a very real sense Hydrozoa are biological immortal they are not however physically impervious to hammer blows.

    You are lucky there are people like me in the world willing to waste my time to make people like you less ignorant.

  • dave

    this is false they die all the time they are NOT immortal..

  • Miles Clifford

    Where did you get the weed that you just smoked??

  • Stefan

    I loved your response!!!!

  • noneofyourbusiness

    the level of ignorance in this comment stream is incredible. why read something that is intellectual and that someone worked hard to do, just to talk shit, some of you cant even spell correctly. What a waste of time reading the comments, for those of you who just come here to talk shit, try and learn something worth wild instead of ruining someones work

  • James

    you guys talk about yourselfs you dumb fags

  • DH

    How much time did you waste posting this, talking about how he wasted your time? Don’t hate, I found this helpful because I wanted to learn a little bit about it.

Tags: , , ,

Subscribe for FREE!

Popular This Week

Drop us a line!

Tip us on news, scientific reports and studies, scientific advances, science art, interesting phenomena or any kind of science related material. Just write to andrei@zmescience.com.