Eternal Life: Discover the Top 10 Longest Living Animals


(One is Immortal)

By Anurag Kataria

African Elephant

African elephants are the largest and oldest living land animals, with an average lifespan of 70 years. Their longevity depends on elephants being seldom preyed on, their strong genes that help fight diseases, and the female elephant's resilient fertility.


Macaws are large members of the parrot family with similar brightly covered feathers. They can live to be 60 to 80 years old in the right environment. They inhabit dense rainforests and feed on a mix of nuts and seeds.

Longfin Eel

Longfin eels typically live up to 60 years old, though the longest living on record reached 106! They are good climbers that can scale waterfalls and manmade dams easily. Native to New Zealand and Australia, they spend most of their life hiding in freshwater streams.

Galapagos Giant Tortoise

They can live to be well over 100, with the oldest known to be 175! Giant tortoises have a slow pace of life, basking in the sun and resting for 16 hours a day. They can survive a year without food.

Red Sea Urchin

Red sea urchins are believed to be immortal, as evidence found in Vancouver Island of some living for over 200 years. They reproduce and live a healthy life and are far more likely to die eaten by predators. Urchins are often studied to monitor pollution levels in the water as they can easily sense the changes in its quality.

Koi Fish

Japanese Koi are omnivores and can swim vigorously even in a cold pond. Their average lifespan is around 40 years. However, “Hanako” was a particular koi that lived 226 years when she died in 1977. Scientists estimated her age by counting growth rings in her scales.

Bowhead Whale

Bowhead whales can live for over 200 years, longer than any other mammal. It’s not always easy to tell their age as they spend their lives in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. One way scientists estimate the age and lifespan is to use DNA and found bowhead whales can live till the age of 268!

Greenland Shark

Greenland sharks live for between 300 and 500 years, the longest-living vertebrate. They move very slowly at an average of 0.76 mph and grow about a cm every year. Despite their huge size and long lifespan, these sharks have been a mystery to scientists for years.

Ocean Quahog

Ocean Quahogs are edible clams that live to see their 400th birthday. The oldest on record was 507 years old when caught in 2006. Scientists determined the age by counting growth rings on the shell.

Immortal Jellyfish

Can you imagine starting again as a baby instead of dying of old age? For the immortal jellyfish, it is real life. The immortal jellyfish has a continuous regenerative capacity, where it settles on the seafloor and shrinks itself into a blob. However, they can die if hunted by predators!