5 Unbelievable But True Facts about Immortality
Dying is for quitters.
1. Everything Used To Be Immortal
Common wisdom is that every living thing dies, but the opposite used to be true. According to a popular theory, the single-celled organisms which first populated this Earth had no reason to die, and just kept existing until a bigger organism ate it or something. Please note that we are specifically talking about biological immortality, which is where an organism doesn’t age and cells don’t die. Invincibility is a trait we haven’t evolved, yet.
2. Organisms Learned to Die in Order to Survive
The title, while contradictory on the surface, refers to an amazing ability of most modern cells: self-destruct sequences. See, cancerous cells can come in and take over cells, no matter how much money we all keep donating. That infected cell, in response, shuts down and dies. This is an extremely useful trait which allows multi-celled organisms to be extremely resilient, as long as their cells have the ability to die. As humans, death allows our gene pool to strengthen and evolve over time.
3. The Immortal Live among Us
Cancer cells aren’t the only biological immortals, and they are far from the most complex. Turritopsis nutricula is known as the immortal jellyfish for its perceived inability to die from advanced age. Planarian flatworms also exhibit this undying characteristic. Remarkably, it’s even been theorized that lobsters could be biologically immortal.
4. We might be immortal within 100 years
Because of technology, escaping death’s grasp for eras may not be that far away. One scientist speculates that human immortality hinges upon nanobot technology which could be ready in 20 years. The theory involves using nanobots, tiny robots that works as groups, to replace human organs. If you’d like to do your part for helping the human race become immortal, there’s even a Wikipedia entry on strategies for achieving immortality.
5. Invincibility Isn’t That Far-Fetched
If the thought of living forever seems silly, then the thought of living forever and being invulnerable to other forms of death may appear ridiculous. But it’s not so silly for an organism called tardigrade. Tardigrades are pretty much nature’s emergency backup plan to keep Earth organisms alive no matter what. We’re talking about damage like the Earth exploding, here, and tardigrades would probably survive. In addition to biological immortality, tardigrades have been shown to survive radiation, starvation, dehydration, even the vacuum of outer space. They have survived absolute zero, 6,000 times the water pressure at the bottom of the ocean, and being heated to temperatures that would vaporize most objects.
Considering the prospect that we might live forever can be overwhelming. Another overwhelming consideration is the notion that we could become one of the last generations to die from old age. We can’t decide which is worse.Speak Your MindTell us what you're thinking... and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!