Russian scientists found the tiny, ancient animal called the bdelloid rotifer in soil taken from the river Alazeya in Russia’s region of Yakutia in the far north.
The bdelloid rotifer, a multicellular organism found in freshwater habitats across the world, is known to be able to withstand extreme cold.
Previous research suggested it could survive for a decade when frozen at -20 degrees Celsius.
This new case, which was detailed in a study in the journal Current Biology, is by far the creature’s longest recorded survival period in a frozen state.The organism was recovered from samples taken 3.5 metres below ground.
The material was dated from between 23,960 and 24,485 years ago, the study said.Land encased in permafrost - where the ground is frozen all year round - has for years thrown up startling scientific discoveries.Scientists earlier revived microscopic worms called nematodes from sediment in two places in northern Siberia that were dated over 30,000 years old