Science and Health

A 30,000-Year-Old Virus has Come Back to Life

A 30,000-year-old giant virus was found frozen in Siberian permafrost. Once thawed, it again became infectious, but it's not dangerous to humans.

A 30,000-Year-Old Virus has Come Back to Life

A giant virus thought to be 30,000 years old has come back to life. But, according to the BBC, at least with this little ... um, massive guy, we don't have too much to worry about:

"It was found frozen deep in the Siberian permafrost, but became infectious again when it thawed. The virus poses no dangers to humans."​

Nature reports the virus is called "giant" because, unlike its other viral brothers and sisters, it can be seen under a microscope.

"The newly thawed virus is the biggest one ever found. At 1.5 micrometres long, it is comparable in size to a small bacterium.​"

A French husband and wife team named it Pithovirus sibericum. 'Pithos' is Greek for a container, often large, used to store wine and food.

While this particular virus only seems to attack single-celled amoebas, some scientists worry other viruses that could be harmful to humans may awaken with the thaw as well. 

But, National Geographic spoke with a professor of microbiology, who says there really isn't anything to worry about. 

"​The risk of a virus pathogenic to humans being released from the ice is very small."

International Business Times says with the global temperature rising, and the melting of Earth's ice, other lost viruses could also return.