An incredible sea creature indeed, the immortal jellyfish one of the worlds most amazing animals. This interesting species of sea life is thought to have originated in the Caribbean, but are now found in temperate to tropical regions in all of the oceans of the world.
The Turritopsis nutricula jellyfish has displayed a remarkable ability to regenerate its cells in times of crisis. The strange creatures name derives from its ability to revert its jellyfish form back to the polyp stage after it becomes sexually mature.
Through a process called transdifferentiation the jelly fish is able to transfer its medusa into the polyps of a new polyp colony. A jellyfish’s lifespan typically ranges from a few hours to several months, and rarely some species a few years. But This process, theoretically can go on forever, thus making the immortal jellyfish biologically for lack of a better word…immortal,
The adult immortal jellyfish has about 80-90 tentacles, and has a bottom living polyp form that develops into its own medusae and swims away from the parent colony. However there currently is no evidence of many generations surviving from any individual jellyfish. Having the ability to reverse its life cycle during times of adversity, allows the jellyfish to bypass death.
Because of its immortality, the number of these jellyfish could be rising fast. Their wide dispersion has been called a worldwide silent invasion by Dr Maria Pia Miglietta of the Smithsonian tropical marine institute.