I’ve recently found out that there are at least two animals in nature that have the gift of immortality. I know what you’re thinking, vampires and werewolves, duh, right?
Well, yeah, but besides those two.
The creatures that I’m talking about are smaller, water-dwelling, and in no way embroiled in an age old battle for the fate of human-kind.
First up on our list is the hydra. It’s well-known that hydra are able to regenerate parts of their bodies if they are injured or cut in some way. While that certainly is an impressive feat on it’s own, they have another, more subtle superpower. They regenerate all their cells about once every 20 days. So almost every month or so, they remake themselves. If their environment stays the same, they could theoretically live forever.
The next animal is a species of jellyfish whose common name is actually “immortal jellyfish”. This species, Turritopsis dohrnii, special because anytime it experiences stress, like say mortal danger or an existential crisis, it can revert to a stage of sexual immaturity and start over again.
So, in theory, both of these animals could live forever. In reality, though, it doesn’t always work out that way. Both the hydra and jellyfish have animals that prey on them, and they may be vulnerable to disease and injury in some situations.
As awesome as these discoveries are, I can’t help but feel cheated in a sense. Wait, maybe cheated isn’t the right word. Incomplete is probably a better word choice, with impatient being a close second. I wonder when science is going to catch up with this particular trend in nature and develop a cream or serum that allows people to regenerate their own cells at will. I absolutely need to see anti-gravity boots, flying cars, and moon colonies before I die.