10 Animals Who Can Live Forever!
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10 Animals Who Can Live Forever!
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10 Animals Who Can Live Forever
Humans have been looking for the key to eternal life for centuries. From the first emperor of China, who
reportedly ingested mercury pills, to various European explorers searching for the fabled fountain of
youth, it seems that us humans aren’t really satisfied with the time allotted to us here on earth. Animals,
however, seems to have a better grasp at immortality than we have. Today, we will look at 10 animals
who can live forever.
Just to clarify, were not saying that these animals are completely immortal, but rather have the chance
to, that is if they aren’t eaten by predators or succumb to sickness. Number one though, is a different
story and quite possibly is the very definition of immortality. Watch out for that.
Number 10. The Aldabra Giant Tortoise
We’re starting off this list with an animal that, although not quite immortal by definition, when
compared to us humans, practically lives forever.
The Aldabra Giant Tortoise is a giant species of Tortoise native to the Aldabra Islands in the Indian
ocean. It is one of the largest species of Tortoise on the planet and is also one of the world's longest
living animals, with one Aldabra Giant Tortoise individual reaching the grand old age of 255 years old.
They are very slow growing reptiles, and often do not reach sexual maturity until they are between 20
and 30 years old. Although some individuals have been known to live for more than 250 years, scientists
actually think they can easily double that number if left alone. Unfortunately, us meddling humans have
encroached into their habitat, hunted them down, downsized their habitat, and introduced pathogens
that make them sick. Fortunately, they are now a protected species and measures have been put up to
make sure they live their long, slow moving lives at peace.
Number 9. Clams
Clams are just some of the most unassuming, and not to mention, animals on earth. Who would have
known that they have the secret to immortality hidden inside their tough shells? Yes, certain species of
clams are immortal or have extremely long lives. One specie, for instance, has shown great resilience
and, although they are regularly harvested for food, seems to defy the odds and just keep chugging on.
The ocean quahog clam shows exceptional longevity. One specimen called "Ming" was estimated to live
up to 507 years in the wild. One study found that in animals aged 4-192 years, antioxidant enzymes
declined rapidly in the first 25 years, which includes the growth and sexual maturity stages, but
afterwards remained stable for over 150 years. In addition, the level of oxidatively damaged proteins in
the heart does not change significantly up to 120 years of age.
And just what do all that sciency stuff mean? Well, in simple terms, their physiology simply doesn’t allow
them to age after a certain point, keeping them forever young.
Number 8. Sea Sponges
Contrary to what some people think, sponges are also animals, although they are always mistakenly
categorized as plants. They are all immobile, aquatic animals and some have the longest lifespan of any
known animal. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry studied the skeleton of the glass
sponge found in the East China Sea and discovered that it was more than 11,000 years old.
The thing is, these glass sponges can live way longer and rarely die of natural causes. This is because of
one evolutionary advantage that this animal has; they are probably the most adaptable creature on
earth. Sponges can easily remold themselves according to their environment, giving them the ability to
survive in even the most inhospitable conditions.
I’m not saying that the sponge can’t die. They certainly can especially when their habitat is irreversibly
destroyed, or when they are predated upon. But, remove human factors and predation from the
equation, these hardy creatures may just go on and live forever.
Number 7. The Planaria
Planaria, or flat worms, are one of the most ordinary looking of animals. Yet, beneath that slimy exterior
lies something that we can only call a super power, one that we thought only possible within the pages
of a comic book; a healing factor so powerful that it rivals that of Wolverine.
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