Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oldest tree in the world

"Methuselah", a bristlecone pine, is the oldest known tree in the world. It is, in fact, the oldest still-living organism documented on earth. (!!)

The tree in the photo above is not Methuselah. U.S. Forest service, in order to protect it's anonymity, will not disclose the exact location of the oldest-tree-in-the-world, but you get a 360 degree view of the "Methuselah Grove" here, which is in the White Mountains of California. So cool! These bristlecone pines seem to live forever.

Methuselah the tree is about 4,839 years old. That's very old. This ancient tree actually sprouted in 2832 BC and grew for about 485 years during the life (should you choose to believe this) of the Biblical Methuselah, who supposedly lived to be 969. Of course...the Biblical character would have been living somewhere in the Middle East, whereas both the oldest and the tallest trees in the world can be found in California, USA.

What a life. Imagine the stories...

(The screen shots below are taken from a Nova News Minute that can be viewed here). This is what Methuselah actually looks like:


MC Etcher said...

Very cool!

I thought I'd heard somewhere that Yew trees were probably among the oldest, since they do some sort of funky regeneration so they can't really be dated?

I could be wrong.

Karen said...

Ah, the Yew tree. Perhaps you're right. Well, maybe there are several types of really really old trees.

I'll have to do more research.