Russian scientists from Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science near Moscow have unearthed and brought back to life 41,000 year-old worms.
One of the worms was collected from a soil sample from 100 feet underground and the soil sample was dated somewhere around 32,000 years. The other was found in a permafrost sample that was carbon dated to be around 41,700 years old. To give you a timeline, the worms lived around the same time the woolly mammoths did.
The isolated nematodes were stored at -4 degrees Fahrenheit in a laboratory and then the temperature was gradually raised to 68 degrees, while the scientists added food around the worms. It took the nematodes a few weeks before they showed signs of life and started to move and, eventually, eat.
This study is the first one to demonstrate that nematodes are capable of surviving after such an extended period of time.
These findings, if they are found to be legitimate, could massively impact astrobiology and cryonics research.
It’s worth noting that, at this moment, these two worms are the oldest living creatures on the planet.