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The Rage Against Mortality: Eight Animals That Outlive Humans

19/09/2014 10:39 BST | Updated 18/11/2014 10:59 GMT

For decades, human-beings have been fascinated by the prospects of being young forever, wandering around the earth in all eternity without wrinkles - a dream that are miles away from reality. Despite being the most intelligent animals on earth, we still die much younger than many animals that can live as long as 200 years - some even forever. Here are 8 creatures that live much longer than you and I.

1. Koi fish

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Image courtesy of Guy Renard

200 years. That's how long these Japanese fish can potentially live if they manage to stay out of trouble, but it's rare they get to swim around for that many years. Usually they don't reach more than 60 years of age.

2. Lobsters

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Image courtesy of Martin Cathrae

Lobsters are often associated with fine dining and people tend to forget that they are fascinating creatures belonging in the sea. There has been a lot of hype around lobsters holding the key to eternal life, but this theory has still not been proved. What we do know is that lobsters can live for a long time, often more than 100 years, but as many other animals they can be killed or die from disease. Overfishing threatens lobsters, especially the European ones with claws.

3. Giant Tortoises

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Image courtesy of William Warby

These turtles have the ability to live for more than 200 years. Unfortunately, the species has faced many issues in recent years and struggle to benefit from their long lifespan. Throughout history, pirates, whalers and other sea men have hunted turtles as food, but today the threat comes from animals such as dogs, cats and pigs that eat their eggs and babies.

4. Bowhead whales

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Image courtesy of Isaac Kohane

This impressive sea creature is usually found in the arctic region. Bowhead whales have no teeth, which make it harder for scientist to determine their age, but they are believed to be among the longest living animals on earth with a lifespan of up to 200 years, if not longer. Unfortunately, they have been victims of commercial whale hunting and today they suffer habitat loss like many other threatened species on the planet.

5. Tuataras - or dinosaurs

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Image courtesy of Sid Mosdell

Under the right circumstances tuataras can live for 200 years as they mature slowly, growing constantly until they reach the age of 30. These reptiles, usually found in New Zealand, are no ordinary creatures as their lineage goes back to the time of the dinosaurs.

6. Orange Roughy fish

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Image courtesy of NOAA Photo Library

Living in the deep sea, this fish has the potential to swim around for more than 150 years due to its late maturity - but not everyone are that lucky. Today it's easier to explore the deep seas, and as a result, overfishing has occurred. Furthermore, habitat damage and commercial trawling makes some orange roughy fish hide during the mating season as a respond to the dangers waiting outside their shelters.

7. Ocean mollusk - mussels

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Image courtesy of Chris Staley

Okay, let's admit it. Being a mollusk might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but researchers have found a mollusk in Iceland that is believed to be 507 years old - so these silent sea mussels are certainly has a long lifespan.

8. Immortal Jellyfish

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Image courtesy of GeniousDevil

Turritopsis dohrnii, a type of jellyfish, is officially known as the world's only immortal creature. Once they reach adult age and reproduce they transform themselves back to their younger self, a transformation that can be repeated in eternity, which makes this jellyfish the only living thing on earth to be young forever. However, scientists still view the immortal jellyfish as a mystery surrounded by questions yet to be answered.

By Caroline Edwards

Check out Frontier's blog 'Into the Wild' where you can read more articles like this! Happy reading!

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