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392 Year-Old Shark Found in the Arctic May Be The Oldest Living Vertebrate 

Image by Julius Nielsen Instagram/juniel85

The Greenland shark has the longest known lifespan of all vertebrate species. Scientists have recently discovered a Greenland shark that is at least 392 years old!  According to reports, the Greenland shark was found living in the arctic and could very well be the oldest living vertebrate creature in the world. 

The researchers measured the creature and estimated that it could have been born as early as 1505. It is known to live in temperatures of -1° Celsius and 10° Celsius. A report by Metro.co.uk, said that the shark can swim as deep as 7,200 feet and weighs more than a ton. 

According to the report, the found shark measured at 18 feet in length. It is this length which reportedly can mean the shark can be anywhere between 272 to 512 years old, as this species grows at a rate of 1 cm in a year. 

A report by The Sun said it was the oldest of 28 Greenland sharks to be analyzed. These sharks have an estimated lifespan of 400 years and they spend their time swimming around looking for mates, report claimed.

Image by Henrik Schurmann

What implications does this astounding creature have on us humans? Scientists are now studying the longevity of Greenland sharks to see if the science behind their longevity can be applied towards humans one day. One possible explanation for the sharks’ longevity is that they spend their lives 2,000 meters down, where the water temperature is around 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme cold is associated with slow metabolism and maturation — Greenland sharks don’t reach adulthood until age 150 — as well as long life spans. 

Of course, humans aren’t about to start living underwater. But scientists think in the future we might be able to incorporate into our own bodies some of the shark’s life-extending biological adaptations. 

What do you think? Would you splice shark DNA into you so you could live longer? Let us know in the comments!

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