The Immortal Jellyfish
Posted on March 9, 2011
Photo credit by Peter Schuchert
The world’s only biologically immortal creature is the Turritopsis Nutricula, the immortal jellyfish.
Most jellyfish usually have a life span ranging from hours to months depending on the species but the Turritopsis Nutricula, a tiny species of jellyfish possesses the ability to revert to it’s younger self after becoming sexually mature making it in theory biologically immortal when other species of jellyfish usually die off after propagating. This could of course be regarded as something fantastical but according to the leading marine biologist Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute says “We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion”.
This is because the tiny jellyfish is usually native to the Carribbean but has now spread around the world in ships ballasts, creating offspring that aren’t dying of old age.
Anxious to see exactly how the creature manages to cheat death, marine biologists and geneticists are now focusing their research to discover more about this unique ability.