Everyone hates growing older. Your hair turns grey, your skin gets saggy, and your overall health leaves much to be desired. Humanity has been working hard for hundreds of years trying to find a solution to reverse or delay aging. But like it or not, aging still is an inevitable part of our life.
There are ways though that might help to slow down the process of aging. You can live a healthy lifestyle which reportedly prolongs your years on Earth. But who are we kidding, we are all gonna die one day, right? However, there are some lucky species who have apparently found the fountain of youth because they basically live forever.
The scientists call Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish “biologically immortal” for a reason. These see-through animals can reverse to the earlier stages of their life cycle whenever there is a danger of injury or starvation or some kind of environmental stress. It’s like a butterfly that turns back into a caterpillar. This way it can literally live forever.
Movement is life, but that’s not about hydra. This very simple animal that lives in freshwater basins, stays in one place most of the time waiting for any pray to swim past. What makes them immortal? Hydra’s stem cells have the ability to constant self-renewal which is apparently the key to hydra’s forever youth.
Lobsters don’t really grow old. Just like hydra and its ability to regenerate its cells, lobster is able to endlessly repair its DNA. While being biologically immortal animals, lobsters usually die of diseases or basic overfishing.
It’s a well-known fact that turtles live for centuries. It has also been proven that the internal organs of a turtle don’t seem to grow old over time. They can basically live forever if they are smart enough to avoid predators and diseases.
These cute colorful tiny crawlers are renowned for their ability to regenerate. A worm cut in half (crosswise or lengthwise) can make two separate worms. This ability also applies to restore damaged tissues which eventually help the worm escape death.
Thanks to its incredible DNA repair abilities, this bacterium can not only survive radiation, but also cold, acid, dehydration, and vacuum. It is without a doubt the toughest bacterium in the world.
Tardigrades aka water bear
This water-dwelling micro-animal has been around for thousands of years (who knows, maybe even longer). How do they survive life-threatening conditions? They go into cryptobiosis – an almost death-like state which obviously helped them become practically immortal.
Ocean Quahog clam
The oldest marine mollusk was dated to 507 years old. You can tell its age by the amounts of growth rings on its shell, just like a tree. The secret to quahog’s immortality is its reproduction of reactive oxygen species which is unusually thin. The lack of oxygen prevents the buildup of molecules that can damage DNA and result in cell death.
We believe the secret to their longevity might be their simplicity. Marine sponges have no digestive system, no internal organs, or nervous system. And like many of the creatures we’ve listed above, marine sponges have amazing regenerative abilities. This and their simple morphology basically make them ageless.
Despite their relatively short span of life – only 30 days – these creatures are known to be able to stop their bodily functions in times of danger, and so suspend their aging process. We wish people could do that too.