Compared to our loving pets, we have things pretty good when it comes to the human lifespan. Since the 1950’s, it has been household knowledge that one dog year roughly equates to about 7 human years. Whether this is true or not, the average lifespan of a dog is a mere 10-13 years. Then there are our furry feline friends who despite the popular myth of ‘having 7 lives’ only live to an average of 16-18 years old when domesticated. The oldest recorded cat in the world reached 28 years of age! The oldest living human being in the world today is a whopping 117 years old!
This wasn’t always the case though, the caveman diet was enough to see us through to the tender age of 35 years of age while prior to the 20th-century people were considered lucky to ring in their 50th Birthday. Nowadays, the average human lifespan worldwide is 71.5 years of age which is about the same as an African Elephant! When we compare this to some of the animals on land and in the sea, we can see that the time we spend on this earth really isn’t that long.
Below are are 5 animals with the longest lifespans in the world!
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The Galapagos Giant Tortoise
Well, this one makes complete sense! It is only fair that an animal that moves so slowly can make up for lost time with a longer lifespan. The World’s largest Tortoises are located in the wildlife-rich Galapagos islands off the coast of Ecuador. The enormous Ecuadorian residents keep growing until they are 40 years old and can weigh as much as 920 lbs (417 kg)! In the wild, these gentle beasts live for over 100 years, while those in captivity have reached up to 170 years of age!
The second largest mammal on the planet (after the blue whale) again travels pretty slowly. With swimming speeds up to a maximum of 6 mph when in danger and roughly a third of that when cruising. These elegant giants reach an average of 200 years of age!
The Greenland Shark has the longest lifespan of all Vertebrates and just like the Bowhead whale, these animals have a life expectancy that sits at the 200-year mark. However, they can last much longer than this! One Greenland Shark was reported to be an incredible 400 years old upon discovery. These Sharks grow so slowly at about 1 cm per year it takes them a full century to reach full maturity.
Otherwise known as the Arctica Islandica, this interesting species of clam is native to the Northern American continent. Ocean Quahog specimens regularly live for 400 years. The oldest of all which was actually named ‘Ming’ since it would have been alive during the Chinese Ming Dynasty was recorded as 507 years old!
On top of that, these little guys are edible, meaning you can literally eat a piece of history! No need to feel quite so guilty here either in knowing that this animal had a good, long life.
Immortal Jellyfish (Turritopsis Dohrnii)
As the name would suggest, this remarkable species of Jellyfish is biologically immortal.
The Jellyfish has the incredible ability to regenerate itself when injured, and theoretically, can live indefinitely! Realistically though, while the Jellyfish has these healing abilities they do not live forever. Their healing properties are of course lost when they are eaten by one of the many predators of the Ocean.