ANCIENT worm-like creatures have been discovered in frozen ground in Siberia and they’re still alive despite being 24,000-years-old.
The microscopic organisms can even reproduce after being thawed out and scientists are calling them an “evolutionary scandal”.
The creatures are called bdelloid rotifersCredit: PA
The organisms are called bdelloid rotifers and they’re female only creatures that reproduce via cloning.
They were found in permafrost in Siberia.
Permafrost is a thick layer of frozen ground, which can include rock and soil, that has remained frozen for longer than two years and it makes up about 24% of exposed land surface on Earth.
Bdelloid rotifers are known for their ability to withstand extreme situations like drying, radiation starvation and a lack of oxygen.
The creatures are all female and reproduce by cloning themselvesCredit: PA
The organisms are thought to have existed for 35million years at this point.
The ones found in the permafrost would have lived alongside mammoths and Ice Age creatures.
We can still find modern ones today in fresh water lakes, ponds streams and even some moss.
They have a digestive tract with a mouth and an anus.
It’s thought they survive with their ability to almost stop all activity in their body including their metabolism.
Researchers at the Soil Cryology Laboratory at the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science in Pushchino, Russia, have been conducting a study.
They used a drill to find the organisms in the permafrost and then radiocarbon dated them.
They then published a study in the journal Current Biology and revealed the creatures were able to reproduce in the lab.
It’s hoped further study of the organisms could teach us more about the cryo-preservation of human cells, tissues and organs.
Researcher Stas Malavin said: “The takeaway is that a multicellular organism can be frozen and stored as such for thousands of years and then return back to life — a dream of many fiction writers.
“Of course, the more complex the organism, the trickier it is to preserve it alive frozen and, for mammals, it’s not currently possible.
“Yet, moving from a single-celled organism to an organism with a gut and brain, though microscopic, is a big step forward.”
In other news, a mysterious tomb just a few miles from Dublin is older than the Pyramids of Giza and continues to baffle scientists.
The first humans to set foot on the North American continent could have arrived 30,000 years ago, according to new evidence.
And, the mystery surrounding the age of the Cerne Abbas Giant may have finally been solved.
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