Are any animals immortal?

Deaths awaits us all – or does it?

Whether they love or hate the thought of living forever, people have been fascinated by the idea of immortality for centuries. No species is known to be able to evade death completely, but some species are said to be biologically immortal; an animal’s condition usually decreases as it gets old, but these animals show no sign of ageing. Without deterioration of their bodies, they only seem to die through injury, disease or predation.

Turritopsis dohrnii, known as the immortal jellyfish, is one of these species. If it gets sick or its condition deteriorates it somehow turns itself back into a polyp, one of the early stages in its lifecycle.

Another animal famous for its survival skills is the tardigrade, or water bear. It can survive extreme temperatures and pressures, radiation, dehydration and even the vacuum of space. Incredibly, it can be frozen for hundreds of years and resume normal life as soon as it’s thawed.

 

To get a monthly dose of amazing animals facts, subscribe to World of Animals!