The Immortal Jellyfish

A small jellyfish species native to the Mediterrean sea, known as the Turritopsis dohrnii is also known as the immortal jellyfish – and couldn’t live up to it’s name any more. This tiny creature holds the secret of immortality, something that human beings have dreamed of throughout history, but are yet to find.

This jellyfish is capable of reverting itself from an adult to a juvenile state, cheating it’s way through death. It can, however, still be consumed by predators, so it’s immortal only if it lives a very, very careful and lucky life without coming across anything that wants to eat it. Otherwise, they can actually live forever.

Jellyfish are known to exist in two forms – either in polyp form or medusa form. Most grow from polyp to medusa before they die, however Turritopsis dohrnii holds the special ability of switching between the two through a process of transdifferentiation, transforming a mature cell into another type of mature cell.  

While immortality is what most of us could only dream of us, it’s not exactly the same kind we would want. The jellyfish may not be actually dying, but they aren’t living in the same body the whole time. Nonetheless, despite the fact that they can get eaten, they are still the closest thing yet to immortality. 

What’s also interesting to note is the fact that these Jellyfish can’t control this process themselves, and it only takes place when they are either starved or injured. 

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