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How long do jellyfish live?

Are jellyfish immortal?

Have you ever wondered how long jellyfish can live? Well, let's dive into the fascinating world of these gelatinous creatures and find out!

Do jellyfish have a secret to eternal life?

Contrary to popular belief, jellyfish are not immortal. However, they do have an impressive ability to regenerate and revert back to their juvenile form, which gives them the appearance of being immortal.

So, how long do jellyfish actually live?

The lifespan of a jellyfish varies greatly depending on the species. Some species only live for a few hours or days, while others can survive for several months or even years.

Short-lived jellyfish

Let's start with the short-lived jellyfish. These delicate creatures, known as moon jellies, have a lifespan of only a few hours to a few months. They spend most of their lives floating near the surface of the water, gracefully pulsating their bell-shaped bodies.

Medium-lived jellyfish

Next up, we have the medium-lived jellyfish. These include the lion's mane jellyfish and the sea nettle. They can live for several months to a few years. These jellyfish are larger and more complex than their short-lived counterparts, with long tentacles and vibrant colors.

Long-lived jellyfish

Finally, we have the long-lived jellyfish. The immortal jellyfish, also known as Turritopsis dohrnii, is the star of the show. This tiny jellyfish has the remarkable ability to revert back to its polyp stage after reaching maturity. It can essentially restart its life cycle, making it potentially immortal.

What's the secret behind the immortal jellyfish?

The immortal jellyfish achieves its immortality through a process called transdifferentiation. When faced with environmental stress or old age, it can transform its cells into a younger state, allowing it to start its life cycle anew. It's like hitting the reset button on the aging process!


So, while most jellyfish have relatively short lifespans, there are a few exceptions that can live for months, years, or even potentially forever. The world of jellyfish is full of surprises, and their ability to adapt and regenerate is truly remarkable. Next time you spot a jellyfish in the ocean, take a moment to appreciate the incredible journey it has been on!