Back in 2014 scientists at Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research made headlines after announcing they had successfully revived a creature that had been frozen for 30 years. After being collected and purposely frozen to a temperature of -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius) during an expedition to Antarctica in 1983, the animal was the lone thawed survivor from a group of tardigrades. Labeled SB-1 in the lab, the tardigrade crushed the previous record of nine years for an animal being revived from a frozen state – again, another tardigrade.
Adding to the impressiveness of just surviving a frozen three-decades-long deep sleep, after two weeks SB-1 was fully mobile. It later laid 19 eggs, of which 14 hatched. The offspring were healthy and by all accounts perfectly normal. Scientists are using the data collected from this deep-freeze experiment and applying it to everything from the theory of life in space’s extreme conditions to the possibility of reanimating humans of the future here on Earth.
Story by Jay Moon