Humans think about having the potential to live forever, while at the same time thinking of most animal life as short and sweet. We’re pet owners, after all. Pets don’t live particularly long. In nature, every winter sees many animals die after mating, and continuing on their next generation. On the farms, our food is planted in the spring and we harvest it just before it dies in the fall. Life is short, but humans defy this by living for decades.
10. 130-year-old whale
In May 2007, indigenous hunters killed a bowhead whale off the Alaskan coast. Usually, when they butcher the whales it is not unusual to find old stone harpoons and other weapons from past hunting attempts but these tools are difficult to date. But this time, embedded into the shoulder bone of the whale was an exploding harpoon that they were able to date to being used in 1890, meaning the whale survived the attack and lived a further 117 years with the harpoon under its skin.