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The Siberian Times

Worms frozen in permafrost for up to 42,000 years come back to life

By The Siberian Times reporter
26 July 2018

Nematodes moving and eating again for the first time since the Pleistocene age in major scientific breakthrough, say experts.

Awake after 42,000 years... Picture: The Siberian Times

The roundworms from two areas of Siberia came back to life in Petri dishes, says a new scientific study. 

‘We have obtained the first data demonstrating the capability of multicellular organisms for longterm cryobiosis in permafrost deposits of the Arctic,’ states a report from Russian scientists from four institutions in collaboration with Princetown University.

Some 300 prehistoric worms were analysed - and two ‘were shown to contain viable nematodes’.

‘After being defrosted, the nematodes showed signs of life,’ said a report today from Yakutia, the area where the worms were found.

‘They started moving and eating.’ 

Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years come back to life


Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years come back to life


Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years come back to life
Duvanny Yar and (in the middle) the nematodes. Pictures: Nikita Zimov, Doklady Biological Sciences/Pleiades Publishing


One worm came from an ancient squirrel burrow in a permafrost wall of the Duvanny Yar outcrop in the lower reaches of the Kolyma River - close to the site of Pleistocene Park which is seeking to recreate the Arctic habitat of the extinct woolly mammoth, according to the scientific article published in Doklady Biological Sciences this week. 

This is around 32,000 years old. 

Another was found in permafrost near Alazeya River in 2015, and is around 41,700 years old. 

Currently the nematodes are the oldest living animals on the planet.  

They are both believed to be female. 

Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years come back to life


Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years come back to life


Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years come back to life


Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years come back to life


Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years come back to life

Duvanny Yar and Alazeya river marked on the map, Alazeya River, specialists of the Institite of Psycico-Chemical and Biological Problems and Soil Science in Moscow region


The worms came back to life in a laboratory at The Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science in Moscow region. 

The scientists say: “Our data demonstrate the ability of multicellular organisms to survive long-term (tens of thousands of years) cryobiosis under the conditions of natural cryoconservation. 

'It is obvious that this ability suggests that the Pleistocene nematodes have some adaptive mechanisms that may be of scientific and practical importance for the related fields of science, such as cryomedicine, cryobiology, and astrobiology.”

The Russian institutions involved in the pioneering research were: The Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science; Moscow State University; Pertsov White Sea Biological Station, part of Moscow State University; and the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

The Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, was also involved. 

Comments (83)

This entire thread of comments is so very frightening.
Are people, especially Americans, really so incredibly dumb and stupidly sure of themselves?

You're talking seriously about souls and the great flood and fucking zombie worms as if any of it is unquestionable and real science.

What happened to you? Why are you like this?
Please stop and look at what you're doing.
You might just be wrong, and that is okay.
Gustav, Sweden
29/07/2018 02:34
45
15
But they’re both Females
Does that mean that bringinging them back is just an epilogue?
Michael, Minneapolis
29/07/2018 00:53
7
2
Fox News had it too so now you can believe it. Lol!
R M, Leominster, Massachusetts
28/07/2018 23:56
5
4
Sorry, Martin from Minnesota, but the earth is not 6000 years old, humans and dinosaurs did not live together. Anyone with even a basic background in logic, history, and science will tell you that James Ussher's idea of adding together the ages of the "Holy People" of the Bible to figure out the age of the universe is irrational at best. To quote from a very good play on this subject: "The Bible is just a book. It's a good book, but it's not the only book." Or, to put it another way, if the Sun wasn't created until the 4th day, how long were those first 3 "days"? 24 hours? 25? Or were those "days" millions of years in length? The fact remains that the youngest of these nematodes is a good 28,000 years older than the Bible itself. Quite a miracle.
Sean Thornton, USA
28/07/2018 23:39
41
5
How are they alive? Are they brainless? Or They Are like Viruses?
Saif, Pakistan
28/07/2018 23:17
0
4
Certainly an event any climate denier would disbelieve
R M, Leominster, Massachusetts
28/07/2018 23:15
2
5
Wonderful news - although it is more likely to be what they didn't have - complex brain and nervous system and other major organs - that enabled them to survive rather then some magic cryo gene.

(People who believe in gods calling others "gullible" lol...)

(People who say they didn't see it in mainstream media when it is in all online papers and tv stations - lol)

(People coming out with fictional nonsense about bibles and floods and other such nonsense... lol)
Jack Snakes, Dorset, UK
28/07/2018 23:11
9
6
Anything that comes from Russia I have trouble believing.
Annie, NYC
28/07/2018 22:56
6
14
我有个疑问,有没可能是某个近代时间,在气候变暖时期,小虫子钻进冻土里面去却给冻僵了。
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
28/07/2018 22:40
5
0
That's amazing to know that these worms are alive after thousands of years!
Sol, Las Vegas
28/07/2018 13:43
2
1
They were the cimbiatic to the dinosaur's G.I. tract, beware of the gas they produce, it killed off the world. They could have been the worms that kept the dino skin clean. Anyone else?
Max of East Coast, Death Star NY
28/07/2018 13:28
2
8
@Abu Muafa  Usually more soil than soul for worms !
Will, Moscow
28/07/2018 13:05
4
4
How about body and soul concept? Do you think that the soul of those nematodes still exist in their body for thousands of years?
Abu Muafa, Indonesia
28/07/2018 13:00
2
17
We have in the US a really old political female officer- I think she is one of the nematodes. Ask the other nematode if it knows Nancy Pelosi.
Robert Powell, United States
28/07/2018 09:57
23
39
This is very scary in a sense. Things from the past shouldn't be brought to the now and future. Soon a real life jurassic world will erupt and so will the chaos. Hopefully I'm not around to see that chaotic life. This is VERY interesting though. A bit surreal.
James houston, United States
28/07/2018 09:43
10
18

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