A group of Russian scientists claim to have revived a pair of frozen roundworms (or nematodes) that were between 30,000 and 42,000 years old. The samples had been stored in a lab at around -4 degrees Fahrenheit when after being brought up to 68 degrees and surrounded by food, “After several weeks of cultivation, the nematodes began showing signs of life and reportedly began moving and eating.”1
Their study was published in Doklady Biological Sciences.
“One of the specimens was found in a soil sample collected from a ground squirrel burrow located around 100 feet underground, and other burrows nearby have been radiocarbon dated to be around 32,000 years old. A second viable nematode was found in a permafrost sample approximately 41,700 years old collected around 11 feet below the surface.”2
YAKUTIA, RUSSIA – That’s a long time to be frozen. Subscribe to TomoNews ►►http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-TomoNews Watch more TomoNews ►►http://bit.ly/MoreTomoNews TomoNews is your best source for real news. We cover the funniest, craziest and most talked-about stories on the internet. If you’re laughing, we’re laughing. If you’re outraged, we’re outraged.
Researchers say they used proper sterility procedures during the collection and transportation of the samples and noted that seasonal thawing wouldn’t have reached the depths at which these nematodes were found, which would severely limit sample movement or an introduction of present-day nematodes. Therefore, if these findings are legitimate, it might help researchers understand how some species survive such extreme temperatures and how these particular nematodes have evolved over time.
Other studies of nematodes showed they could survive extreme environments but this one seems to be the first to demonstrate nematode survival after such an extreme length of time.