|Hydra viridissima; Credit: Frank Fox|
With Google now venturing into the oh so Vanilla Sky business of life extension via Calico, it seemed like a good time to explore the age old dream of immortality. It seems that while we humans have struggled in vain to attain the seemingly impossible goal of biological immortality, other creatures make it look quite easy. Of course when scientists speak of "biological immortality", they mean organisms that do not experience the cellular senescence associated with aging, and so their mortality rate doesn't increase after maturity. Most of the organisms on this list could still be easily dispatched by any number of means, including the ever popular pot of boiling water. It's also prudent to mention that while they might not show the classic signs of aging, scientists are not quick to call anything immortal without a lot of research, hence the "potentially" in the title of this post.