Worms from frozen soil in Siberia were defrosted after 42,000 years


This is the first evidence of multicellular organisms returning to life after spending a long period in Arctic permafrost. Nematodes are tiny worms that typically measure about one millimetre in length. Some are found living 1.3 kilometers below Earth’s surface, deeper than any other multicellular animal. The worms were taken out from the frozen soil in Kolyma River Lowlands in northeastern Siberia. One sample was collected from a fossil squirrel burrow near the Alazeya River in the northeastern part of Yakutia, Russia, from deposits estimated to be about 32,000 years old. The other permafrost sample came from the Kolyma River in northeastern Siberia, and the age of nearby deposits was around 42,000 years old.

worms magnified 1000 times
The worms magnified 1000 times

These samples were kept at 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) and were left in a petri dish surrounded by food. As they warmed, the worms started showing signs of life, moving and eating. These worms present any danger to the people.The authors acknowledge that certain types of bacteria, algae, yeasts, seeds, and spores have been found to remain viable even after being frozen in permafrost for thousands or even millions of years.Previously, another group of scientists had identified a giant virus that was resuscitated after spending 30,000 years frozen in Siberian permafrost.


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