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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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The animal that wouldn’t die

4 minutes

The hydra’s amazing resilience challenges ideas that all living things must die

The idea that living organisms are born to reproduce and ultimately die is one of the most common and widely accepted ideas about life across cultures. But is it true? Using whimsical animation, The Animal That Wouldn’t Die explores the strange case of the hydra – a creature that seems to play by a different set of rules than anything else in nature. Following the work of two scientists separated by many generations, this documentary investigates the surprising regenerative power of the small fresh water animal, and how the concept of the ‘circle of life’ might not be as universal as we once thought.

Director: Adam Cole

Producer: Robert Krulwich

Website: NPR’s Skunk Bear

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau