Geological Time Scales

by Kiko Matsing

The Oldest Living Things In The World


sunland baobab #0707-2301 (2,000 years old; limpopo province, south africa);
photography by rachel sussman


sagole baobab #0707-00505 (2,000 years old; limpopo province, south africa);
photography by rachel sussman


clonal quaking aspens #0609-4711 (80,000 years old, fish lake, UT);
photography by rachel sussman

Pando

While Pando isn’t technically the oldest individual tree, this clonal colony of Quaking Aspen in Utah is truly ancient. The 105-acre colony is made of genetically identical trees, called stems, connected by a single root system. The “trembling giant” got its start at least 80,000 years ago, when all of our human ancestors were still living in Africa. But some estimate the woodland could be as old as 1 million years, which would mean Pando predates the earliest Homo sapiens by 800,000 years. At 6,615 tons, Pando is also the heaviest living organism on earth.

(from Wired Science, emphasis mine)

I cannot wrap my mind around how old these living things are. The Pando predates human beings!

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