Scientists claim they have brought back to life roundworms that have laid frozen for 42,000 years.
Two nematodes extracted from ancient permafrost in Siberia are moving and eating again for the first time since the days woolly mammoths walked the earth, according to a report by the Siberian Times citing a recent scientific study.
“We have obtained the first data demonstrating the capability of multicellular organisms for long term cryobiosis in permafrost deposits of the Arctic,” states the study reported by the news outlet. “After being defrosted, the nematodes showed signs of life… They started moving and eating.”
Out of 300 worms collected, two came back to life.
The two worms came from separate areas; one from a ancient squirrel burrow in the lower reaches of the Kolyma River, the other found in permafrost near Alazeya River in 2015. The worms are estimated to be 32,000 and 41,700 years old, respectively.
Scientists say the two female worms are believed to be the oldest living animals on the planet. The discovery gives new hope for a cryogenics breakthrough.