Humans have been locked into research to find methods of increasing our longevity with a goal of someday perhaps actually achieving immortality. After spending many years and billions of dollars on research, man has come no closer to attaining immortality than when the first fish sprouted legs and crawled out of the ocean.
Oh sure, he has been able to determine certain important reasons why we age and even come up with some potential breakthroughs that may allow us a few more years on this planet. Nevertheless, our life expectancy has not made any dramatic increases in the past twenty five or thirty years. Nature on the other hand has a few species that appear to be far superior in their ability to live a prolonged life.
Biologically speaking, immortality is defined as – the absence of a sustained increase in the rate of mortality based on chronological age. An organism or even a cell that defies the aging process, or actually stops aging at a specific time, is considered to be biologically immortal. A life that is has been determined to be biologically immortal could still be vulnerable to death caused from something other than age – including traumatic circumstance or disease. As conceptually sounding as biological immortality may be, it is occurring in a number of species on our planet:
Hydra – This freshwater dweller is thought to be biologically immortal since they do not experience senescence or the aging process. Hydras are a voracious animal that is located in many uncontaminated fishponds, lakes and tributaries in moderate to tropical areas.
Turritopsis Nutricula – is a type of jellyfish that because of its immortal ways has been able to adapt to life in bodies of water the world over. It is mainly found in the Caribbean waters. When this jellyfish arrives at sexual maturity, it transforms itself into an adolescent or polyp phase of its life by the cell alteration process known as transdifferentiation. This practice will continue to duplicate itself for an indefinite period.
Colonized Bacteria – Bacteria manages to replicate itself via cell partitioning. The mature parent bacteria divide itself into two matching daughter cells. The daughter cells in turn divide in two themselves and the procedure continues to duplicate, hence the bacterium colony would be considered for all intents and purposes immortal.
The Bristlecone Pine – This variety of pine tree is thought to possibly be immortal since it is currently the oldest existing species clocking in at four thousand seven hundred eighty nine [4,789] years old. There are even trees that have existed for a longer time period as “tree colonies” which consist of genetically equal trees that form a component of a single live organism and maintaining an expansive below ground root structure.
There is a batch of forty seven thousand Quaking Aspen clones [designated as “Pando”] in the state of Utah and these are estimated to be approximately eighty thousand years old! In addition to these species, there is a colony of sea grass known as Posidonia oceanica, located in the Mediterranean Sea. It has been predicted that this sea grass might possibly be as much as one hundred thousand years old. Immortal indeed!