Scientists Discover Oldest Living Animal, Immediately Kill

November 14, 2013


Because what's the goal of science if not to kill everything, in 2006 researchers dredged up an extremely old quahog clam. Unaware of its age, they immediately froze the poor bastard, only later to calculate it was 400 years old and even LATER to discover i wasn't 400, but 507. I don't even know any witches older than that (unless they're lying about their age).

A quahog's shell grows by a layer every year, in the summer when the water is warmer and food is plentiful. It means that when its shell is cut in half, scientists can count the lines in a similar way trees can be dated by rings in their trunks.

The growth rings can be seen in two places; on the outside of the shell and at the hinge where the two halves meet. The hinge is generally considered by scientists as the best place to count the rings, as it is protected from outside elements.

When researchers originally dated Ming, they counted the rings at the hinge.

However because it was so old, many had become compressed. When they looked again at the outside of the shell, they found more rings.

It means the mollusc was born in 1499 - just seven years after Columbus discovered America and before Henry VIII had even married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon in 1509.

Wow, could you imagine being born in 1499? You would look like absolute shit by now. Probably even worse than David Lo Pan from 'Big Trouble In Little China' and that guy was f***ing GNARLY (in case you forgot). Hey -- I like girls with green eyes too, Dave. Or any colored eyes really, just as long as they're not glowing red laser beams.

Thanks to PYY and Kristof, who agrees this story would have been way less tragic if somebody had at least eaten the clam.

  • Darren Snakeman
  • Bad Habit

    The title is not fair. They killed it *before* they new how old it was.
    AND.... it was one out of hundreds killed during the study.
    AND.... lets not forget the hundreds of thousands killed every year for food.

  • Good job.

  • Shane Anderson

    They should auction it off to the hungriest bidder. I'd eat that piece of history ;p

  • Closet Nerd

    "Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the
    poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah,
    Jack Burton just looks that big ol' storm right square in the eye and he
    says, "Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it."

  • dingusthemonique

    "Columbus discovered America"... LOL that's funny.

  • Azariel_z

    Noooo, DragonForged don't die...

  • grimbldoo

    The title had me thinking about that one seal species that went extinct. It was thought to be extinct before, but scientists saw 4 of the scientists shot all four. 2 were dissected and 2 were prepped for display in museums.

  • The Major

    Thanks for the 'Big Trouble in Little China' reference. Great movie.

  • Guest

    at least it was accidental. I was expecting vivisection because of knowing its age

  • Paul Murray

    The world's oldest tree – actually the world's oldest organism – was also accidentally killed by science:

  • lordpikachu


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