But being locked in permafrost in one of the coldest regions on the planet wasn't the end for the bdelloid rotifer — a microscopic animal that is found in freshwater environments.
The creature was still able to reproduce after being frozen for thousands of years, a team of Russian scientists has reported today in the journal Current Biology.
Offspring produced by their ancient parent were also able to survive being frozen and thawed in the lab, revealing the animal's amazing ability to tough it out in the most extreme conditions.
"[The ancient rotifer] did not show any signs of decline," said study co-author Stas Malavin, a biologist from the Soil Cryology Laboratory at the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science in Pushchino, Russia.
While bdelloid rotifers have been known to bounce back after 6-10 years of freezing, the specimen reported in the new study breaks that record by a long shot.