header print

7 Creatures Living on the Brink of Immortality

We are mortal beings. While some live up to a century or sometimes even older, the average life expectancy of humans is about 70 years old. One can hold a lifelong conversation about the mortality of our bodies as opposed to the immortality of our souls, but there’s no doubt that humans are still far from eternal life. But other organisms on earth may just be getting close to it. Today, we will see seven such creatures, each with their secret to longevity on the brink of immortality.
Here are the world's oldest living organisms. 

Giant barrel sponge: 2,300 years old

The giant barrel sponge, sometimes called the “Redwood of the reef” due to its size and long lifespan, can live for centuries. An independent study from 2008, which was published in the Marine Biology journal, examined several specimens growing in the Florida Keys and found that the oldest living barrel sponge is over 2,300 years old. 

The Zoroastrian Sarv: 5,000 years old

An individual plant specimen of a Persian Cypress found in Iran is considered to be one of the oldest living trees in the world, with an estimated age of up to 5,000 years old. This longevity is attributed to natural conditions that allow prosperity. This is different from other organisms on the list, most of which thrive thanks to their special survival mechanisms.
The tree is 82 feet tall and has a perimeter of about 40 feet. According to a local legend, this tree was planted by Zarathustra himself – an Iranian prophet that founded the Zoroastrian religion.

Humongous fungus: 8,650 years old

This fungus colony holds more than just one record. It is estimated to be up to 8,650 years old. Discovered in 1998, this specific colony of the species Armillaria ostoyae has been nicknamed "humongous fungus" thanks to its size: it is more than 2,300 acres large, granting it the world record for the largest organism alive on earth.
This giant lies peacefully in the soil of Oregon’s Blue Mountains, where it grew thanks to a very interesting mechanism of survival: it can extend its biological structures to bridge gaps between food sources, allowing it to effectively never starve.

Pando: 14,000 years old

Located in Fishlake National Forest in south-central Utah is a giant clonal colony of quaking aspen trees. This colony, called Pando, or The Trembling Giant, occupies 108 acres of trees, all sharing one root system. It is estimated to be about 14,000 years old, and it holds the world record for being the heaviest organism on earth, weighing nearly 6,000 metric tons. The colony has over 40,000 stems – each is a tree. Individual quaking aspens (that do not grow as part of a colony) usually do not live beyond 130 years.

King’s Holly: 43,000 years old

There is only one cluster of this ancient plant left on earth. It was discovered by a Tasmanian explorer in 1937 and held onto the title of the oldest living organism on earth for a couple of years until Australian scientists determined the age of the next organism on the list. This plant, also known as Lomatia tasmanica, is believed to be 43,000 years old. There have been efforts to breed this plant to preserve it, but since it does not bear fruit, there are no seeds. The only option left is propagation, which can be challenging.

Posidonia oceanica: 200,000 years old

This is a species of seagrass native to the Mediterranean. There is a specific patch of about 40 meadows stretching from the coast of Ibiza and Spain to Cyprus that’s more than 2,000 miles long! This seagrass, also known as Neptune Grass or Mediterranean-Type Weed, reproduces asexually by cloning, spreading far and wide as a survival method. As a result, there is no one age to the colony (since it is made of several parts patched up), but the oldest patches in the colony are estimated to be up to 200,000 years old.

Hydra: immortal

The Hydra is a small freshwater organism that has such an incredible regenerative ability that it does not appear to die of old age, or age at all, for that matter. When the organism experiences a scarcity of life-supporting resources, it can go back to an immature polyp state that allows it to remain dormant and live on minimal resources until it can mature again. Hydras reproduce asexually by growing out a limb that eventually separates into an individual new organism.
Next Post
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!
Did you mean:
Continue With: Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!
Did you mean:
Continue With: Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy