World's oldest living thing found, killed by scientists

Scientists were excited to find the oldest living creature in the world, a 405 year old clam they have named Ming. Ming was about as opposite to excited as possible, having died. If anybody involved is upset that they just killed the worlds oldest and most utterly defenseless animal they sure aren't showing it.

The mollusc lived peacefully on a seabed north of Iceland, sucking plankton out of the water, for four hundred years before scientists dragged it up out of the water, where it lived, to the surface, where it didn't. If they don't grasp the irony of searching for the oldest living thing they can find by yanking it out of the environment it needs to survive, we can only hope they don't take an interest in the worlds healthiest baby lest they start storming maternity wards and holding the infants in fishtanks.

The researchers grabbed headlines (and funding) by claiming that such an animal must hold the secret to defeating aging, but look at the facts: it sat in a pool of liquid, never moved, couldn't hear anything and ate whatever it could suck through its fleshy gums. This thing doesn't have the secret to eternal youth, it has the secret to being really fucking old. The fact they gloss over is that we can't learn how to live forever from clams for the same reasons we can't learn how to lick our genitals from cats - we're different goddamn species.

It's a shellfish that lives at the bottom of the sea eating things too small to see, what's it going to teach us about living longer? Don't smoke? Eat less red meat? It sure as hell isn't going to tell us to exercise or get out in the sun. I'm happy to continue eating, drinking and hanging around with girls and if I don't have the longevity of a sedentary mollusc and I do it in the joy that I don't have any of its other qualities either. Besides, if never moving and sucking in liquid refreshment in near total darkness is the secret of immortality then they're going to have to invent some World of Warcraft levels a damn sight higher than seventy and industrial size cans of Mountain Dew.

Of course the headlines are misleading: they claim the "oldest animal ever", when they mean the "oldest animal ever found", because the true secret to long life is hiding from scientists who'll explode you, dissect your corpse and try to sell you to cosmetics companies.


David Curran said...

We should do a remake "Full Metal Zoologist"

I wanted to see exotic
Iceland, the jewel of
geology. I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating species of an ancient culture
and ... kill them. I
wanted to be the first kid
on my block to get a confirmed kill.

Luke said...

Are those .... live clams?

Not any more.

Lordy said...

Anything that runs is a Viet Clam! Anything that does not run is a well disiplined Viet Clam!