Scientists Revive 1,600-Year-Old Moss Plant

WASHINGTON (March 17, 2014) Scientists have revived a seemingly lifeless moss plant that had been frozen beneath the Antarctic ice since the days of Attila the Hun.

The simple moss dug up in Antarctica was about 1,600 years old, black and looked dead, but after it was thawed in a British lab's incubator, it began to grow again.

The moss was visibly greening with new shoots after three weeks, British Antarctic Survey ecologist Peter Convey said.

He said scientists didn't do anything to make it grow except squirt it with distilled water.

Convey said this may make scientists rethink what is dead and what's not.

He said this is by far the longest case of revival of a plant or animal from frozen limbo.

The study was published Monday in the journal Current Biology.


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