The Ancient Ones: Oldest Living Organisms on Earth
The trees of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, in the White Mountains near Bishop, California, are the oldest living recorded organisms on Earth. Many of the trees are over 2,000 years old, with the “Methuselah” tree dated at more than 4,773 years old. It was previously thought that this was the oldest tree in the world, but was superceded by the discovery of another bristlecone pine in the same area with an age of 5,063 years, giving it a germination date of 3051 BC.
These trees were young and growing at the time stone axes were being used in Europe, the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) was being built, and cuneiform clay tablets were being used in northern Syria.
“The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. Scaling to 46 years, humans have been here 4 hours, the industrial revolution began 1 minute ago, and in that time we’ve destroyed more than half the world’s forests.”