A female Greenland shark has smashed records for animal longevity, with scientists confirming that she is literally 400 goddamn years old. What the hell? How is something that old?

It’s long been suspected the Greenland sharks are long-lived creatures, but a new procedure for dating involving the buildup of calcium on the animal’s eye has confirmed just how bloody long, blowing other vertebrates out of the water. Even that Galapagos tortoise everyone thought was old. Yeah, you’re not that old, player.

“Fish biologists have tried to determine the age and longevity of Greenland sharks for decades, but without success,” biologist Steven Campana, told The Guardian. “Given that this shark is the apex predator in Arctic waters, it is almost unbelievable that we didn’t know whether the shark lives for 20 years, or for 1000 years.”

Look, the range of possible ages based on the method actually stretch from 272 to 512 years. So it could be a mere 272, which is still, by my calculation, old as hell. Let’s say 400.

Here is a list of things this shark was alive to see:

  • The signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • WWII, but it did nothing to stop Hitler.
  • The moon landing, but so was your dad, probably.
  • Her first legal beer, circa the year 1634

Some people are skeptical. A few scientists told The Guardian that while they think the dating method used by the team is sound, and that the Greenland shark is quite likely the longest living vertebrate, they should seek other empirical means to verify the age of this extremely old shark. 

This shark is old as hell. This shark has some country miles on her. If this shark was a person, she would probably enjoy Werther’s Originals. This shark old.

Source: The Guardian.

Photo: Getty Images / National Geographic.