By Maggie Koerth-Baker at 1:30 pm Wed, Apr 14, 2010
Thanks to a unique ability to repeatedly cycle between polyp and adult stages, a species of jellyfish may be immortal.
Not news to me. I made sure that was in the lede of the Wikipedia Immortality article years ago.
Interesting. Though I don’t think it’ll be possible to bind a book with them.
ItÂ´s a motherfuking miracle!
Like rainbows or giraffes or unicorns…
eh, wait, too much ICP lately.
But if these jellyfish never die, where will they go to get away from Mormons and drunk Eskimos?
That’s what they used on Cheney after they released his age progressed clone into the wild.
Immortal? Meaning they can’t die? Or they just don’t die? If I were to shoot one twenty times with a shotgun, would it piece itself together like the metal dude in Terminator and keep coming after me?
Let’s cut to the chase. Can they bestow immortality? :-D
Anon @#6 – They’re biologically immortal. They need an environment that will sustain them and they need to avoid trauma (shotguns, chainsaws, hungry humans) — so yeah, they can be killed. They’re just are not evolved to age.
Felton @#7 – Yes, they can bestow immortality. But only to their offspring. Remembering to ask them for eternal youth won’t help.
Still, this is proof that mortality and aging are not an absolute prerequisite for biological life. Next up: Zombies vs Immortal Jellyfish.
That’s not immortality. It’s “just” eternal youth. Come to think of it, that isn’t too bad either. Can I have some of it?
They’re immortal like elves are immortal. That’s Tolkien elves, of course.
“Unaging” is a very common definition of “immortal”.
Contrast with Invulnerable, which is what y’all keep harping about. ;)
I agree with you that ‘unaging’ is a common usage of the word “immortal”, and I don’t think that said usage is necessarily a bad thing.
But they aren’t using the word “immortal” to describe ‘invulnerability’.
Look at the word itself: “immortal”. That is not mortal, lacking the condition of being subject to death.
As Karl Pilkington has noted on several occasions, jellyfish are 98 percent water. Since water never ages I theorize that they were already 98 percent immortal. Plus they don’t have any brains or anything so what are they doing with all that immortality? Answers, please!
I’m not sure if mentioning one’s own related projects counts as spam – apologies if so – but a friend and I did a radio show about this very Jellyfish back in January. You can listen at the link below – it’s the January 26, 2010 show. The station’s archive program is a bit off, so you need to skip a few minutes through the ending of the previous show.
If for whatever reason the link doesn’t work, go to ckut.ca, check programming and archives, and go to the Harvey Christ Radio Hour.
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