Animal That Lives Forever.

June 07, 2018
Ever heard of a being that lives on forever? Sounds ridiculous? Not anymore. A recently discovered underwater creature takes the trophy for immortality. Turritopsis dohrnii - the Immortal Jellyfish. This jellyfish has the unique ability to age back! They first are tiny larvae called Planula. A Planula settles down on a sea floor and then gives rise to number of Polyps. Since all of these Polyps are the products of a single Planula, all of them are identical clones and thus, so are the jellyfishes that they grow to be. The Polyps form buds which later fall off and become jellyfishes. They are now detached from their identical siblings and live through the sea in a free swimming form.

Various Stages of Jellyfish.

Turritopsis Dohrnii - Jellyfish!
The absurdity of their life can be observed now. If and when an immoral jellyfish gets sick or injured, it can go back to the Polyp stage and form a new colony of Polyps thereby in a way, reproducing over a three-day period. Their tentacles retract and their bodies shrink to the size of the polyp structure. This method of reverting back to an earlier stage of life is done through transdifferentiation-transformation of one type of mature cell into another type of mature cell. Theoretically, these 4.5 mm long creatures can live on forever unless they are eaten by another underwater animal or some disease affects the root of the cells.

Now how about humans being immortal? This sounds ridiculous too? Someday, it might not. The key to human immortality lies in the transdifferentiation process. If somehow scientists can tap this method, humans too can live forever by shuffling between different stages of its life. To some extent, we already regenerate-scars healing, regrowing of fingers and toes. But to be able to live through our youth again, our childhood again is something any man would give up everything for.

Post Written By - Bahana Saikia

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