|Jello, the 6,000-year old Immortal Jellyfish, he's pretty smart and talkative for a guy with no brain or heart or mouth...|
The average lifespan of a human is around 60-90 years. As modern medicine gets better and better, we live even longer. The oldest person alive in “recent” times died at the age of around 120 years old. But that’s nothing compared to heroes of the Bible. Adam, the first man, lived around 930 years. Seth, Adam's third son, lived about 912 years. Noah lived about 950 years and Enoch lived on earth until he reached 365 years of age when God took him away. But the person who’s lived the longest, by no coincidence also has an extremely long name – Methuselah! Methuselah lived to be 960 years old until death. If he had lived another 30 years, he would have been 1,000 years old! But these long-lived people were of Bible times. Animals, even ones living today have some pretty long lifespans as well. Elephants live to be about 80+. Tortoises can live around 200 to perhaps around 250 years old. Many whales can live into their 400’s. The recently cloned sauropods – or long-necked dinosaurs – can live to be 200 years old or more. Recently, a jellyfish by the name of Jello has come to stay at Animal Adventures Studios (the part of Animal Adventures Inc. (AAI.) that does TV broadcasting and movies). He seems like a pretty old guy, so after asking if he’d like to be an interviewee, I asked him how old he is. Jello is quoted for saying, “I am 6,000 years old and counting.” Whoa! Now a lot of people reading that response must be thinking, “this guy needs to go in the Lunacy Aquarium!” At first I thought this was a little weird too so I asked him if he was kidding. “I do not kid,” says Jello. “Many people think I’m hoodwinking them when I tell them my age, but I’m not. You see, I’m from a species of jellyfish called Turritopsis nutricula, or the Giant ImmortalJellyfish. God created us as an amazing breed of jellyfish. See, most jellyfish have a fixed lifespan, but as my species name suggests, we don’t! Whenever we start aging and getting physically old, we have an amazing ability – we just revert back to the polyp or baby jellyfish stage. Then we grow up and get older until we revert again! Isn’t it amazing? The only way we get killed is by predators or illness. But most of us are really, really small, so many of us get eaten easily. Only a few ‘lucky’, or rather, ‘providential’ ones get to such a large size as I am.” I, as the reporter, was shocked that a jellyfish could live so-o-o-o long. I was still curious if the jellyfish was telling a tall tale, but I did my research and found otherwise. In fact, here is the webpage I looked at to see if the jellyfish was telling the truth. And sure enough, there really is a species called the Immortal Jellyfish. Who knew? God actually did create animals with the ability to keep on living. I then asked Jello if other animals have been given this gift. “Well, as you know not many animals can keep on living, but this gift might be shared with another invertebrate that is often served boiled red on a large platter at Red Lobster restaurant. Yes, that’s right, the lobster might also have the ability to keep on living, scientists aren’t yet sure. I guess they might be able to know the answer if they didn’t kill them for food so much!” I then decided to visit AAI.’s leading geneticist, Dr. Steve Stevenson to see what he thinks about this. This was his response: “Not many people know about the abilities of the Immortal Jellyfish. But perhaps these animals will be able to help the human race. You see, if we study the jellyfish to see how they are able to live so long, maybe we will be able to reveal how we humans can do the same. Who knows? These jellyfish could help us a lot!” Who knew a jellyfish could be so fascinating? I guess tales of animals with long lives really are telling the truth and not such a “long-lived tall tale” after all!
Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan
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