TECH

400-Year-Old Moss Brought Back To Life After Spending Centuries Under A Glacier

28/05/2013 11:43 BST

Scientists have managed to bring a 400-year-old plant back to life.

Before you get carried away thinking it's another step closer to the ill-advised world of 'Jurassic Park' there is a catch.

The moss had spent four centuries frozen under the Teardrop Glacier in Canada in a sort of suspended animation.

400yearold moss

Mighty Moss

Catherine La Farge of the University of Alberta who found the moss said: "We didn’t do anything fancy," reports Science News.

The discovery could have interesting implications for space travel. The moss, part of the hardy bryophyte family, could be ideal for colonising harsh extra-terrestial landscapes.

La Farge's team radiocarbon dated the moss to a period known as the "Little Ice Age", a time of global cooling covered roughly 1350 to 1850.

She said: "It's kind of like a blanket being pulled back, allowing you to see what the Little Ice Age was like," reports iO9.

Although impressive 400 years is dwarfed by the record for the oldest revived plant which is a massive 32,000 years.