This animal was brought back to life after being frozen for 24 000 years
This animal was brought back to life after being frozen for 24 000 years
This animal was brought back to life after being frozen for 24 000 years
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An animal has survived frozen in the Siberian permafrost for 24 000 years

The microscopic animal, called a bdelloid rotifer, endured in the Siberian permafrost for 24 000 years before resuming a normal life.

The scenario of this cryonics is worthy of a science fiction movie. A team of scientists from the Soil Cryology Laboratory in Russia have studied a microscopic animal species, the bdelloid, which has survived in the Siberian permafrost for 24,000 years, reveals a study published on 7 June 2021 in the American cell biology scientific journal Current Biology.

A species able to suspend its metabolism for thousands of years

Dug up from 3.6 metres below the surface near the Alazeia River in north-eastern Siberia, the bdelloids were brought to the surface for observation.

After thawing, the animal, which is about half a millimetre long and usually lives in fresh water, came back to life. In a video published in the scientific journal, the bdelloid can be seen moving through a microscope.

A half a millimeter long beastie screenshots

It managed to reproduce asexually using a self-cloning process called parthenogenesisand also resumed normal feeding.

Cryptobiosis pushed to its extremes

The biological ability to enter stasis for a long period of time in a frozen state raises many questions for scientists. Stas Malavin, co-author of the study and a member of the Institute of Physical-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil in Pushchino (Russia), stresses

Our report is the strongest evidence to date that multicellular animals could endure tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, a state in which metabolism is almost completely at a standstill.

This discovery in the permafrost adds rotifers to the list of multicellular organisms capable of surviving indefinitely.

The important thing to remember is that a multicellular organism can be frozen and stored as such for thousands of years and then come back to life, a dream shared by many fiction writers.

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