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Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality? | NYT

After more than 4,000 years — almost since the dawn of recorded time, when Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh that the secret to immortality lay in a coral found on the ocean floor — man finally discovered eternal life in 1988. He found it, in fact, on the ocean floor. The discovery was made unwittingly by Christian Sommer, a German marine-biology student in his early 20s. He was spending the summer in Rapallo, a small city on the Italian Riviera, where exactly one century earlier Friedrich Nietzsche conceived “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”: “Everything goes, everything comes back; eternally rolls the wheel of being. Everything dies, everything blossoms again… .”

Ah Turritopsis nutricula. We meet again.

(via mad-as-a-marine-biologist)

Filed under Turritopsis nutricula immortal jellyfish jellyfish that is a beautiful article

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Meet the immortal jellyfish, or Turritopsis nutricula.

Its form can revert back to its polyp stage after becoming sexually mature. It is the only known case of an animal capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity. By reversing its life cycle (in response to adverse conditions), this allows the jellyfish to essentially bypass death, rendering it potentially biologically immortal.

(via herquack-gottbill)

Filed under jellyfish immortal jellyfish Turritopsis nutricula I girl I work with refuses to believe this exists