Photos of the World’s Oldest Living Things
Among the organisms documented by photographer Rachel Sussman are 80,000-year-old aspen trees and 600,000-year-old bacteria
- By Joseph Stromberg
- Smithsonian magazine, January 2013
Welwitschia mirablis, a plant endemic to Namibia and Angola, thrives in the extreme aridity of the Namib Desert, reaching ages upwards of 2,000 years.
“One commonality between these organisms is their tendency to live in some of the most extreme environments on Earth—deserts, polar regions and places of high altitudes or low nutrient availability,” Sussman says. “They tend grow slowly, as opposed to fast and furious.”