Immortal Jellyfish - Biological Deathless Creature

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Immortal Jellyfish
Turritopsis rubra - Commonly confused with immortal jellyfish
(c) Photo Credit: Peter Schuchert/The Hydrozoa Directory

Immortal Jellyfish Facts:
Common questions

How old is the oldest immortal jellyfish?

You might want to know how old the oldest immortal jellyfish is, but unfortunately there is no answer to this.

No turritopsis dohrnii has been observed in a laboratory for an extended period of time, and there is no other way to establish the age of an individual.

How do they remain immortal?

The process that lets the turritopsis remain immortal is called transdifferentiation and it involves one cell converting from one type to another.

Thus, when the jellyfish reaches maturity, its cells can convert and it becomes a polyp again.

Won’t they populate the whole earth if they are immortal?

They are only biologically immortal, they still can be eaten by predators (and they certainly are eaten). But nonetheless, they are seen in new territories where they haven’t been seen before, as they are easily transported worldwide by cargo ships.

What is their habitat?

The immortal jellyfish prefers warmer waters, although it has been spotted in colder areas as well. They originate from the Caribbean Sea (nutricula) and the Mediterranean (dohrnii).

What do they feed on?

Their diet consists of plankton, fish eggs and small mollusks.

How do they look like?

If you want to spot an immortal jellyfish in the ocean, be aware that it is barely visible. The turritopsis dohrnii is bell-shaped and it is at maximum 4.5mm (0.18 inch) tall and wide. They are tiny creatures. Younger turritopsises have only 8 tentacles and are 1 mm tall, while adult ones can have up to 90 tentacles.

Its large stomach is bright red colored. In its polyp form the dohrnii is made up of stolons and branches that can create medusa buds.

Are there immortal jellyfishes on sale?

While rarely we heard about some being sold in Japan, they are quite rare. However, it is possible for them to be sold, but we have no information about any reliable source of nutricula or dohrnii for sale.