By reversing its aging process when it gets sick or injured, Japan’s tiny Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish is one of the only known animals that has figured out how to defeat death.
Motherboard paid a visit to Japan to visit a researcher who is studying the microscopic animal to see if humans can eventually do the same. He even writes karaoke songs about the jellyfish, which he performs wearing a jellyfish hat after he’s done with his research for the day. “Out of all the animals in the world, only they are able to reverse the aging process instead of dying,” he said. When they’re damaged or hurt, the jellyfish spends three days returning to its polyp stage and eventually becomes an adult again.
Kubota says that the jellyfish, though primitive, share more genetic data with humans than they do with things like insects or worms, which means that, if he or someone else is able to understand how they’re able to reverse the aging process, the same theory might be applied to humans.
There are still many mysteries left to solve, and the process behind their immortality is still poorly understood.