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Hydras can live for more than 1,400 years – long enough to witness 350 Winter Olympics

It’s not often that we come across animals that out live human beings. Giant Tortoises are known to live well past 100 years, and some other sea creatures can achieve these numbers comfortably, but the Hydra Species puts all records to shame with an astonishing life span of approximately 1,400 years. The estimation and discovery was first made in 1998 by biologists who suggested that the animal possesses a unique ability to regenerate and renew its cells over time. It’s like it has its own age defying system built in — something that many would die for.

Hydras abide in fresh water strictly, and are only about half a centimeter long on average. There are many different species of Hydras and they are usually stuck below leaves or onto rocks. The key to the longevity of the Hydras lies in their slowly increasing mortality rate and their ability to replace a lost head, or foot, or even both if necessary. The remarkable feats of the organism are very rare, and explains why their mortality rate remains so low for such a long period of time. When place in a controlled lab, biologists found that at least 5% of the Hydras would still be alive for another 1,400 based on regenerative growth patterns alone.

Man has long been fascinated with ways in which we could prolong our lives. Google’s recently formed Calico aims to prolong the lives of men via a series of biological algorithms which will solve the ageing process somewhat. For the sake of mankind, we hope for a better quality of life through better health care and knowledge. In the mean time, Hydras have figured out how to age slowly, and seem to have perfected the art, while we are only now making critical discoveries and inventions.

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Sources: Scientific American, DevBio

Myril Kennedy

I am a fan of technology and Android in particular. It has helped to turn the mobile industry on its head, and its open source nature has opened many doors that were previously closed. I am also a self confessed Google fanboy, so it may be reflected in my views from time to time.

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