Jellyfish is one of the secretive and fascinating creatures you’ll never find. With their jelly-like bodies and the slaggy tentacles, they look more like a character from a horror movie as compared to real animals. Jellyfish have wandered on the ocean currents for many years, even before the existence of dinosaurs on the Earth. You must be thinking of are jellyfish immortal. But before finding out are jellyfish immortal, let’s have a recap of the habitant of jellyfish.
Gelatinous creatures pulsate along the ocean currents and are found in abundance in the warm and cold water of the oceans, along the shoreline and also in deep water. But despite the name of jellyfish, it is not really a fish; they are animals without backbones or invertebrates.
How do Jellyfish Die?
If you want to be immortal, the good news is you can be immortal but you have to become a jellyfish. You must be thinking of are jellyfish immortal. The answer is yes as scientists have discovered a jellyfish that can live forever. Jellyfish or Turritopsis dohrnii is now officially recognized as the only creature that is immortal.
As a result, the secret of eternal life is not only living very, very long. It’s about maturity, or you can say a lack of maturity. The jellyfish proliferate and then, facing the normal professional trajectory of death, they choose to return to a stage of sexual immaturity. The only way jellyfish can die is when another fish eats jellyfish or if illness hits the jelly. However, many mysteries surround turritopsis dohrnii. Although the process of transition from an adult stage to a polyp has been observed several times, it has not yet been observed in nature, only in the environment of the laboratory.
For Turritopsis dohrnii, this gel is not only an exceptional survivor. It has long been known that the marine species roam the world in ballasts. Researchers have recently identified the immortal jellyfish as an excellent traveler, particularly suited for survival on long-haul freighters.
Life Cycle of Jellyfish
A new life of jellyfish begins with a fertilized egg, which develops at a larval; planula. After swimming, the planula lands on a surface, where it becomes a polyp: a tube-shaped body with a mouth at one end and a type of foot on the other end. It stays stuck for a moment, growing in a small colony of polyps sharing feeding tubes between them.
Finally, depending on the species of jellyfish, one of these benign tumors will form a secretion called buds or may produce distinct pieces stacked on top of each other, which can then be separated from the rest of the colony. This process is responsible for the following stages of the jellyfish life cycle: ephyra and medusa.
Ephyra is a small jellyfish while medusa is a fully grown adult stage capable of reproduction.
For most of the other jellyfish, this phase is the end of the line. But Turritopsis dohrnii has a good thing at parties: in the face of certain types of environmental stress, such as hunger or injury, it can become a small patch of tissue, which becomes then the stage of polyps immature sexual life. A bit like a butterfly turns into a caterpillar, or a frog becomes tadpole again.
Of course, Turritopsis dohrnii is not really immortal. They can still be eaten by predators or killed by other means. However, their ability to alternate life stages in response to stress means that in theory, they can live forever.
Surviving in harsh environments is one thing, but you also have to press the reset button to deal with an impending threat. It is known that only one animal has this remarkable capacity: a type of jellyfish, Turritopsis dohrnii, was first discovered in the 1880s in the Mediterranean and was presented as a uniquely lasting species. The fully developed Turritopsis dohrnii is 0.18 in. long. A bright red stomach is seen in the middle of the transparent bell and the edges are lined with 90 white claws.
However, these little transparent creatures have an extraordinary ability to survive. In response to bodily injury or even hunger, they take a step forward in their growth process and turn into tumors again.
Are Jellyfish Really Immortal?
To date, only 1 species has been called immortal biologically and is the jellyfish, Turritopsis dohrnii. These transparent animals roam the oceans around the world and can go back in time and return to an early stage of their life cycle.
As mysterious and as interesting as they are, these jellyfish don’t really live forever. The concept of immortality may perhaps be more accurately referred to as serial regeneration. It is still not known that if there is any restriction on the count these jellyfish can regenerate. In the laboratory, the record is 12, although it is likely that more can be achieved in the wild. But although they may deceive death in certain circumstances, they can still be killed by infections and predation especially at the polyps stage, where they are most vulnerable.
Because of the capability of jellyfish to regenerate and make the same copies of the jellyfish, the jellyfish can keep the genes at the forefront of the genetic makeup of its species without spending all its time and energy on reproduction.
For this reason, some people mistakenly assume that immortality is the last evolutionary adaptation. However, if the answer of the question “are jellyfish immortal” is yes in actual, it would mean the end for its species, because, without death and reproduction, a species could not adapt to the challenges it might face in the future. It may be best when, as human beings, we cannot achieve eternal life.
The immortal jellyfish is a mysterious and majestic creature that can survive all. Pharmacists, doctors, and scientists hope that the study of their life cycle will lead to an improvement of the aging process for us, humans only on the continent. It remains to be seen, but yes to are jellyfish immortal is a sure sign that our environment has not yet discovered wisdom.