An early hyper-text from the 90s


Japanese scientists have induced the jellyfish to repeat this transformation at least 10 times in a row—allowing a polyp to grow into a tentacled adult medusa, before subjecting it to stress (for example, a needle prick), and watching the process begin all over again. In this way, a single jellyfish—hypothetically at least—might be induced to live forever, cycling endlessly from young to old and back again.

The immortal jellyfish has something that humans have sought for centuries: the answer to eternal life. But to them, it is nothing. Workaday. Simple creatures, they may not even know they have this prize. Certainly, what with their rejuvenation coming during periods of pain or suffocation, they will not enjoy it. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: “One has to pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while one is still alive.” I’m sure that jellyfish would, if they could, agree.