A type of jellyfish has been found to be one of the few organisms on Earth that could be considered immortal. The Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish has the ability to regenerate its cells back to its first stages of life. It begins life as a polyp, a small cylinder that attaches itself to the sea floor, before it matures into an adult jellyfish and detaches itself. Instead of dying as it reaches the end of its maturity, the Turritopsis dohrnii can regenerate its cells back to the polyp stage and starts its growth cycle all over again. Not all of these jellyfish are immortal, however, because the regeneration process typically occurs only as a result of dangerous situations, such as starvation or other physical damage.
More about organism life cycles:
- The American lobster is thought to be able to live for as long as 100 years, because it can repair its own DNA and even regrow limbs.
- Pando, a group of trees in Colorado is connected underground and is thought to have roots that are about 80,000 years old.
- The fruit fly has a natural lifecycle of about 35 days, but researchers have been able to increase its life span to 70 days by altering one of its genes.