Here’s something you might find interesting. I’ve been reading up lately about the Turritopsis Nutricula, a small jellyfish-like life form with a very intriguing ability – this amazing, tiny creature appears to have the potential to live forever.
The Turritopsis Nutricula, dubbed the “Immortal Jellyfish”, begins it’s life in the Polyp stage. A Polyp is, in highly un-technical layman’s terms, a very tiny plant-like carnivorous organism (pictured right) which feeds on fish larvae and other such unsuspecting miniature victims. It will then progress into a “Medusa”, which is effectively a tiny little jellyfish.
This Medusa will live out it’s life like any other living creature, but when times get tough, such as a food shortage, it will simply revert back into a Polyp by means of “transdifferentiation”, a cell-mutation process similar to that of stem-cells.
I understand I don’t really know enough about the subject to satisfy your hunger for knowledge about this incredible creature, so why not read up about it here:
Cheating Death: The Immortal Life Cycle of Turritopsis
What intrigues me the most, however, is the continued research into medicinal uses, which is hoped will eventually lead to age regression in human cells. This would possibly cure many different cell-based diseases, as well as potentially being able to give immortality to humans.
This is a touchy subject… I can imagine it would only be accessible to the rich, and I don’t think I need to outline how that’s unfair and disastrous. Imagine how much crime rates would rise, people on borrowed time trying to raise the money to increase their lifespan. People claiming to be immortal being hunted by jealous people who think they don’t have the right.The world would turn to hell. And even if it didn’t, the over-population problem we already have in the world would only increase – I doubt an immortal human would stop reproducing. Furthermore, just because one person could be immortal, doesn’t necessarily mean their loved ones would, does it?
Immortality is a skill is best left to the jellified professionals, in my opinion.