“Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.” 
Abraham Lincoln 

If scientists are correct, a jellyfish may hold the key to immortality.

That’s the premise of a New York Times Magazine article that examines a species of jellyfish (appropriately) nicknamed the “immortal jellyfish.”

Known officially as Turritopsis nutricula (and sometimes as Turritopsis dohrnii), the minute creature has the ability to transform its cells back into a youthful state. As National Geographic puts it, the jellyfish transforms “into a blob-like cyst” that grows into a polyp colony — the first stage of life.

From there, the jellyfish continues a conventional lifecycle, maturing and mating. Instead of dying, however, the immortal jelly reverts, time and again, back into the polyp colony. That ability “allows the jellyfish to bypass death, rendering [it] biologically immortal,” notes Hongbao Ma, a researcher at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

According to a study published in “Nature and Science,”the jellyfish accomplishes this unique feat via “transdifferentiation.” Essentially, the creature absorbs its cells, then transforms them into cells of any other type.

With life skills this advanced, it’s no surprise the jellyfish has populated the globe in what’s been termed “a worldwide silent invasion,” the Telegraph notes.

Can humans learn a thing or two from these jellyfish? It depends who you ask.

According to Shin Kubota, one of the few scientists to successfully breed the species in a lab, the answer is apparent.

“The immortal medusa is the most miraculous species in the entire animal kingdom,” Kubota told the New York Times. “I believe it will be easy to solve the mystery of immortality and apply ultimate life to human beings.” Huffington Post

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