Sticking with recorded history, the answer might surprise you. Its not elephants, which live for about 30 or 40 years. Its not giant tortoises either, even though they often ripen to be well over 100 years old. Its not even that record-breaking, 507-year-old Arctic clam named Ming.
Nope, the longest-living animal in the world is a sponge. Sponges are among the simplest animals on the planet headless, armless and completely void of internal organs. But theyre still technically animals. And the glass sponge can live for 15,000 years.
The only other animal that might give it a run for its money is the immortal jellyfish. Under normal circumstances it lives and dies just like any other jellyfish. But put it under extreme stress and guess what? It ages backwards!
It transforms all of its adult cells into a younger state. And it can do this de-aging thing over and over again. Kind of makes the oldest human a 122-year-old French woman who was named Jeanne seem downright young, doesnt it?
Critical thinking challenge: Is there any connection between a 100-year-old tortoise and a 100-year-old human?