Forget cryopreservation â€“ hot and dry conditions might be all you need to awake far into the future. A date palm seed some 2000 years old â€“ preserved by nothing more than storage in hot and dry conditions â€“ has germinated, making it the oldest seed in the world to do so.
The ancient seed was found along with several others in the 1960s in the Masada fortress on the edge of the Dead Sea in Israel. Recently, three were planted in soil and one germinated.
To determine their age, an Israeli and Swiss team carbon dated the two dud seeds and found them to be approximately 2000 years old â€“ making them possible contemporaries of Jesus.
When the germinated date was 15 months old, the researchers moved it to a new pot and retrieved fragments of the seed shell so they too could be carbon dated.