(I'm not sure in which forum this should go...Mods, feel free to move it.)
Scientists have found a tree in California that is at least 13,000 years old. It looks more like a group of shrubs with 70 different "trunks" that
are offshoots of a long-gone original trunk.
It may not be older than dirt, as the title of the source article implies, but to put the age of this tree into perspective, 13,000 years ago:
- Woolly Mammoths still roamed the Earth.
- Homo floresiensis -- a separate and distinct species of humans -- lived along side us Homo sapiens.
- Humans started their very first attempts at agriculture.
- The island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain were connected as one island.
- The wheel probably was not invented yet (or at least not put to use as a tool).
- The Earth that was still in an ice age.
...and this tree started growing.
As I said the original trunk of this tree is long gone, but scientists say that this tree (and other similarly old trees) live on by continuously
cloning themselves as offshoots. There are two trees that may be older than this. One of those may be 43,000 years old, and one may be 80,000.
Because of this cloning ability, I wonder if we could really say that these trees are actually that old? If I clone myself before I die at 75, and my
clone lives another 75 years, can it be said I lived to be 150?
Here's the source:
and here's another source with a photo:
[edit on 12/29/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]