The Oldest Living Things – Rachel Sussman

It looks like we haven’t quite managed to destroy everything – yet. Nature sometimes manages to survive much longer than we think.

Clonal Quaking Aspens, Fish Lanke, Utah. 80,000 years old

Rachel Sussman has been taking photographs of the world’s oldest living things.  And some are pretty old.

La Llareta, Atacama Desert, Chile. up to 3,000 years old

As you can imagine, it’s plants that have survived. The only animal life that can survive thousands of years is coral – one of which is included in the project. Apart from that, the oldest living animal was, it seems, a giant clam that was 450 years old before scientists killed it while trying to determine its age.

Jomon Sugi Japanese Cedar. Yaku Shima, Japan. 2,180 - 7,000 years old

I know, this sort of project begs the question as to whether it should be classified as ‘art’ or ‘documentation’. I’m not in the mood for the debate and the images are interesting enough to include I think.

Underground Forest. Pretoria, South Africa. Up to 13,000 years old.

Watch the video below to see Rachel presenting her project at a TED session.

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