News from the Natural World: The Immortal Jellyfish has made a shocking statement that eternal life isn't all it's cracked up to be.
News from the Natural World: The Immortal Jellyfish has made a shocking statement that eternal life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Turritopsis dohrnii, also known as the Immortal Jellyfish, is a species of small, biologically immortal jellyfish found worldwide in temperate to tropic waters. It was found by human scientists completely by accident (typical human scientists). What astounded them was the creatures age. The secret to eternal life, as it turns out, is not just living a really, really long time. It’s all about maturity, or rather, the lack of it. The immortal jellyfish propagate and then, faced with the normal career path of dying, they opt instead to revert to a sexually immature stage. It is this state of death that is truly the mesmerising part. When it dies, it sinks to the ocean floor and begins to decay. Amazingly, it’s cells then re-aggregate, not into a new jellyfish, but into polyps, and from these polyps emerge new jellyfish. The jellyfish has skipped to an earlier life stage to begin again. It is in a perpetual status of birth and re-birth, constantly looping through the aeons like some kind of gelatinous slinky. We decided to secure an interview with one of the species to find out just how living forever really felt.