Immortal life form seems to be an impossible or impossible thing for humanity, but on our planet already exists this life form, moreover it can do this comfortably. without limit number of times.
In the summer of 1988, Christian Sommer, a 20-year-old German marine biology major, went to the small town of Rapallo in Liguria, Italy, to travel with his girlfriend. This is where the famous German philosopher Nietzsche wrote “So Zarathustra” – “So said Zarathustra”, and on this tour, the young German man accidentally discovered an amazing secret. about life on Earth.
Christian Sommer is an extremely hardworking student, so even while on vacation with his girlfriend, this guy doesn’t neglect his studies. For his studies, he dived into the azure waters under the cliffs of Portofino to learn about the marine life here and found a small jellyfish – Turritopsis nutricula (lighthouse jellyfish).
This jellyfish is only four to five mm in size, its whole body is transparent, in the middle of its body is a red digestive system like a lamp, so it is called a lighthouse jellyfish.
Although lighthouse jellyfish have a very beautiful appearance, due to their small size, people often do not see or notice them. Immediately after observing and discovering, Sommer collected them in a thin mesh bag and placed them in a container of seawater in the hope of bringing them to the refrigerator and turning them into specimens. But that day was the weekend, on the beach there were many interesting games and because of a bit of playing, Christian Sommer forgot to put them in the refrigerator as originally planned.
It was not until the next morning that Christian Sommer remembered what he had forgotten. When he found the barrel, he took it out to look, but when he looked closely many times, Sommer found nothing inside the net bag but seawater.
So what happened? Even though lighthouse jellyfish are so small they can still be seen with the naked eye, why do they completely disappear in just one?
Still not believing his eyes, Sommer checked the container a few more times, this time feeling even more surprised, at the bottom of the container there were many tiny things, almost invisible. can see. After many observations and analysis, Sommer realized that these were exactly the polyps of lighthouse jellyfish.
Why did Sommer feel so surprised? In fact, lighthouse jellyfish are a species of hydrophyte, and they have two different developmental stages in their life cycle: a polyp (hydroid) stage and a jellyfish development stage. Adult jellyfish lay eggs and are fertilized in water, after which they retain the fertilized eggs in the female jellyfish until they develop into planula larvae.
These planula larvae can swim freely like worms or float in the sea and then sink to the sea floor to form a digestive system and reproduce asexually into polyps; After asexual reproduction is budding, the polyps slowly develop into adult jellyfish and begin a new life cycle.
Usually a jellyfish life cycle lasts several weeks to several months, and they die after laying eggs. But now, the fact that these jellyfish lay eggs, fertilize, become larvae, mature and then turn into polyps within a few days is what makes Sommer extremely surprised.
This means that these jellyfish have not disappeared, instead they are rejuvenated like a full-blown rejuvenation. Further research has found that not all lighthouse jellyfish will rejuvenate, their life cycle will still proceed normally. However, when faced with certain adverse conditions such as food scarcity, water temperature changes, sea water decrease in salinity or physical damage and many other adversities, they will fend for themselves. rejuvenate, turn into polyps and begin their life cycle once more.
Theoretically, lighthouse jellyfish can reverse its life cycle continuously without limit number of times, so it can be said that lighthouse jellyfish is an immortal life form and also the only species in the world that can such a mechanism of life.
Moreover, each time this rejuvenation process is performed, the lighthouse jellyfish can split into hundreds of different polyps, which means that the current lighthouse jellyfish have “aged” very much. , may even exceed several thousand years old. Therefore, this species is also considered the longest living organism on the planet, if not completely immortal.
Many people believe that lighthouse jellyfish appeared in the Cretaceous period, and if so, lighthouse jellyfish in the ocean have lived for more than 100 million years.
The lighthouse jellyfish is actually an invasive species, it originated in the Pacific Ocean and is thought to colonize oceans around the world through ballast water. Due to its small size, and not causing too many adverse reactions to the ecosystem, few people pay attention to its invasiveness.