The Oldest Living Things In The WorldSubmitted by jrd3820 on Wed, 05/14/2014 - 14:00
These Are The Oldest Living Things On Earth
Apr. 22, 2014, 11:28 AM
There are living things on the Earth, both plants and animals, that have survived tens of thousands of years of slow and often violent change in the world. Yet, despite their seeming permanence and immortality, these ancient living things could soon disappear, if humans don't intervene to protect them. That is the contention of Brooklyn photographer and conceptual artist Rachel Sussman, who has spent a decade finding and documenting the oldest living things in the world.
Beginning with "Year Zero" or the beginning of the current era/AD, Sussman looked backward to find continuously living plants and organisms that are older than 2000 years old. In the process, she has worked with more than 30 scientists to identify a master list of living things that need to be documented before they disappear. The project has seen her travel from the far reaches of Antarctica for a barely documented species of moss to Siberia to document a half-million year-old colony of bacteria — Actinobacteria — that live in the permafrost.
When asked how many of the plants and organisms she documented were in danger, Sussman didn't hesitate.
"All of them," she told Business Insider. "We're past the 11th hour."
In just the last five years, two of the 30 subjects that Sussman documented with her photographs have disappeared, both because of direct human interference. The first was a 13,000-year-old underground baobab forest in Pretoria, South Africa that was bulldozed to make way for a road. A 3,500 year-old Cypress tree in Orlando, Florida nicknamed "The Senator" was burned down by a woman smoking meth in the hollow of the tree.
Most of the plants are difficult to find. Many are located in harsh environments that are difficult to travel to, while the locations of others are kept secret to protect them from an onslaught of tourists who might not respect the fragility of the aging plants.
Sussman shared some photos from the project with us here, but you can check out the rest in her new book, The Oldest Living Things In The World.
Read more with amazing pictures: http://www.businessinsider.com/rachel-sussmans-photos-of-the...