A deep sea clam known as a quahog was taken alive from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean by researchers in 2006. They put it in a freezer and waited a while to do some tests on it. In the interim, it died. When they finally did get around to some tests, they found out it was 400 years old.
The scientists named it "Ming the Mollusc" after the Chinese ruler who reigned at the time the mollusc was birthed. Turns out however, it was actually even older. When we killed it, Ming was 500 years old.
"We got it wrong the first time and maybe we were a bit hasty publishing our findings back then. But we are absolutely certain that we've got the right age now," Dr. Paul Butler, a scientist at Bangor University told The Telegraph.
Their new finding puts the birth of the mollusc less than a decade after Columbus sailed to America. Think of all the history it witnessed from the ocean floor! First wooden ships, then ocean liners, then submarines and transatlantic cables, and finally a grubby robotic hand hauling it into a freezer where it died.
Oh Ming the Mollusc, you really did see it all. But we killed you. For science.