What Is the Oldest Living Thing on Earth?


Quick Answer

The oldest living thing on Earth is Pando, a grove of quaking aspens located in Utah's Fishlake National Forest. Scientists estimate that Pando is 80,000 years old as of 2014.

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What Is the Oldest Living Thing on Earth?
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Full Answer

Pando appears as a grove of approximately 47,000 different trees, so at first glance, it does not appear to be a single organism. However, every tree in the grove is genetically identical, and every tree shares the same root system. Quaking aspens reproduce asexually by sprouting new trees from the parent tree's lateral root. Pando is estimated to weigh 6,615 tons. Pando is Latin for "I spread."

The longest living non-clonal organism is thought to be a Great Basin bristlecone pine estimated at 5,064 years old as of 2014, according to Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research. This tree is located in White Mountains, Calif.

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