Special Report

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

Welwitschia mirablis (Rachel Sussman)


(Rachel Sussman)
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.”

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus