Humans have long sought the fountain of youth, but it was usually more philosophical than practical. Recent advances in medicine and technology have expanded the science of human aging, even though compared to life as a whole, we are embarrassingly outmatched. Despite modern humans living longer today than ever before, our understanding of what is possible is limited to our species—until now. In this spunky, effervescent debut, the immortality key is revealed to be a superpower already present on earth. With mind-bending stories from the natural world, Jellyfish Age Backwards reveals lifespans we cannot imagine and physiological gifts that feel closer to magic than reality. For example:
There is a Greenland shark that was 286 years old when the Titanic sank, and is currently 390, making it older than the United States. Scientists predict it will live for another 100 years.
Trees and lobsters don’t “age” in the way we know it. They simply get bigger and bigger. If they die, it’s almost always by accident.
Radiation, which is deadly to humans, has been known to actually increase the lifespans of certain species, from turtles to naked mole-rats.
There's a species of jellyfish, the size of a fingernail, that can revert back to its polyp stage when threatened and, remarkably, “age again.”
Mixing cutting-edge research and stories from habitats all around the world, molecular biologist Nicklas Brendborg explores what nature has to teach us about aging. Along the way, we meet lobsters who are virtually ageless; redwoods that survive thousands of years; and in the soil of Easter Island, the key to eternal youth. Jellyfish Age Backwards is a love letter to the immense power of nature, and what the immortal lives of many of earth's animals and plants can teach us about the secret to longevity.