For almost every creature on the planet earth, death is one of the few certainties of life, except one. Turritopsis nutricula, a hydrozoan jellyfish, has the amazing ability to revert to its first developmental stage in response to adverse conditions effectively turning back the clock and completely avoiding death. T. nutricula is capable of performing this amazing feat repeatedly, granting it virtual immortality.
Called the immortal jelly, T. nutricula is able to cheat death through a process called transdifferentiation, where one type of cell can become another. This is the same process that allow salamanders to regrow limbs. Instead of regrowing part of its body, T. nutricula uses a few specific cells to regrow itself into its polyp form, effectively restarting its life cycle. This amazing ability is believed to have contributed to the species spread from its home waters in the Caribbean to temperate to tropical regions the world over.
On March 24, 2010
By John D
In Real Life Monsters
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