Though not technically immortal animals, the bowhead whale is the oldest living mammal. According to Popular Science, several species of whales have been known to live for more than 70 years, though in the 1990s scientists discovered scars on the massive animals that had been made by weapons from the 1800s. The oldest known bowhead lived to be 211 years old. (Whales are also very smart. This particular one even thanked the scientists who rescued him from a fishing net.)
Deinococcus radiodurans, a poly-extremophilic bacterium, isn’t only radiation-resistant. These immortal animals can also die and come back to life thanks to their incredible DNA repair response. According to Ira S. Pastor, CEO of Bioquark Inc., “[They] can survive cold, dehydration, vacuum, and acid, and [have] been listed as the world’s toughest bacterium.” The Guinness Book of Records even says they “can resist 1.5 million rads of gamma radiation, about 3,000 times the amount that would kill a human!”
The most indestructible species on the planetPhoto © Eye of Science/Science Source
Anything that tries to kill a tardigrade will quickly realize they encountered practically immortal animals. These creatures are capable of sticking around for thousands of years or even indefinitely “by entering a state of cryptobiosis, whereby their metabolism comes to a halt,” says Pastor. Here’s everything you need to know about the most indestructible species on the planet.