There are some really old animals around us. We mean creatures that have been alive for hundreds or even thousands of years. Just imagine an animal that was alive during the signing of the Declaration of Independence still living today.
Although it is usually difficult to estimate the ages of wild animals, scientists have devised methods of calculating some of them. In fact, we are very sure of the ages of some critters that have lived around us, either in private ownership or in zoos. You’ll be surprised by how old these animals can become.
10. Charlie The Parrot
Charlie is a macaw parrot born in 1899, making him 119 years old as of 2018. He is owned by Peter Oram, who purchased the bird for his pet shop in 1965. Oram later took Charlie home because the bird was fond of swearing and chanting anti-Nazi slurs. Charlie is said to have learned the anti-Nazi slurs in the home of wartime British prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill, who reportedly bought him in 1937.Churchill’s daughter denied her father’s ownership of the macaw. She said that the family searched through her father’s pictures and records and found nothing about Charlie.
She confirmed that her father had a parrot in the 1930s, but it was an African grey parrot and not a macaw. Some say that the family is only denying Winston Churchill’s ownership of Charlie because the bird’s behavior doesn’t promote them in a positive light.
9. Minivan-Sized Sea Sponge
At 3.7 meters (12 ft) wide and 2.1 meters (7 ft) long, a sea sponge the size of a minivan is the largest ever recorded. It was discovered 2,100 meters (7,000 ft) underwater between Hawaii and Midway Atoll. Researchers could not determine its exact age, but its extraordinary size means that it could be thousands of years old.Smaller sponges in similar shallow waters are known to have lived for over 2,300 years. So this sponge could be around the same age if not older.
Scientists have even proposed that it could be the oldest living animal.Age is not the only mystery surrounding the minivan-sized sea sponge. Researchers couldn’t determine its genus, either.