The Strange But Incredible Immortal Jellyfish

On of the most incredible organisms living in the oceans of planet Earth is the Turritopsis Dohrnii, more popularly known as the immortal jellyfish. Watch the video to find out why! youtube: V101 Science

The cute immortal jellyfish that lives forever by growing young when it gets old

In 1992, a Genova scientist astonishingly discovered that the Turritopsis jellyfish possesses what mankind has always dreamed of – immortal youth. A mature Turritopsis jellyfish will transform into a younger state if stimulated by stress or old age.

In 1996, an Italian led research team further clarified that the ability of Turritopsis to revert back to youth is due to cellular transdifferentiation. The average jellyfish faces old age and death, but the Turritopsis jellyfish can live forever by repeatedly growing young whenever it becomes old. youtube: DRJOHNMD

How to Live Forever? Be a Jellyfish

Hank introduces us to another amazing organism – the “immortal jellyfish,” Turritopsis dohrnii – and explains how it can extend its life cycle indefinitely through a process known as transdifferentiation. youtube: SciShow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Turritopsis dohrnii, the immortal jellyfish, is a species of small, biologically immortal jellyfish[2][3] found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the waters of Japan. It is one of the few known cases of animals capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary individual. Others include the jellyfish Laodicea undulata[4] and Aurelia sp.1.[5]

The Turritopsis nutricula can regenerate its cells, and this feature could allow it to live forever. (Photo: Peter Schuchert/The Hydrozoa Directory)

Like most other hydrozoans, T. dohrnii begin their life as free-swimming tiny larvae known as planula. As a planula settles down, it gives rise to a colony of polyps that are attached to the sea-floor. All the polyps and jellyfish arising from a single planula are genetically identical clones. The polyps form into an extensively branched form, which is not commonly seen in most jellyfish. Jellyfish, also known as medusae, then bud off these polyps and continue their life in a free-swimming form, eventually becoming sexually mature. When sexually mature they have been known to prey on other jellyfish species at a rapid pace. If a T. dohrnii jellyfish is exposed to environmental stress or physical assault, or is sick or old, it can revert to the polyp stage, forming a new polyp colony.[6] It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation, which alters the differentiated state of the cells and transforms them into new types of cells.

Theoretically, this process can go on indefinitely, effectively rendering the jellyfish biologically immortal,[3][7] although in practice individuals can still die. In nature, most Turritopsis are likely to succumb to predation or disease in the medusa stage, without reverting to the polyp form.[8]

The capability of biological immortality with no maximum lifespan makes T. dohrnii an important target of basic biological, aging and pharmaceutical research.[9][10]

The “immortal jellyfish” was formerly classified as T. nutricula.[11]