Aquatic Life

The Immortal Jellyfish

News: The Curiosity Podcast is here! Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud and RSS.

The process by which mature cells become different kinds of cells is called transdifferentiation, and it's not limited to this jellyfish. However, this jellyfish seems to be the only animal that can regenerate its entire body by reverting to a younger stage in its life cycle. Although a polyp can create many jellyfish, they are all genetically identical, making them "immortal" clones of the original adult.

Advertisement

Love getting smarter? Sign up to our newsletter and get our best content in your inbox!

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Turritopsis dohrnii can revert back into a younger version of itself when it faces stress, such as starvation. 00:39

  2. In theory, Turritopsis dohrnii can revert to a younger form and regenerate indefinitely. 02:18

  3. Studying the transdifferentiation capabilities of Turritopsis dohrnii could help with cancer research. 03:29

Advertisement