A patch of moss that lay buried beneath the antarctic ice for over 1,500 years has been successfully revived by scientists, who say that it is now the oldest living plant ever recorded.
Frozen mosses that were buried under glaciers 400 years ago have now been regrown. Surprisingly, the hardy "bryophytes" required no special techniques to regenerate. That means they might be candidates for colonizing extreme environments — even in space.
Nature is full of examples of species that will go to any lengths to survive, as survival of the fittest morphs into survival of the extremest. Some Antarctic moss has found what must be the most disgusting possible survival tactic.
The first, moss-like plants emerged on land about 470 million years ago. In just 25 million years, they stripped the planet of vital minerals, wrecked Earth's carbon cycle, started an ice age, and caused a mass extinction of marine life.