A Photographic Tour of the Oldest Living Things in the World

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There are things on this Earth that have been alive since before the Great Pyramids were built. They have survived millennia, outliving human civilizations and standing up to catastrophic weather events. But how much longer will they continue to live and grow? A project called 'The Oldest Living Things in the World' by photographer Rachel Sussman seeks to capture and catalog them while they still exist – or perhaps, while we still exist to enjoy them.

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You may never get to see a wonder like Sweden's 9,500-year-old spruce tree or the 13,000-year-old Palmer's Oak in Riverside, California in person. But with Sussman's beautiful photographs, you can get a sense of their incredible beauty and feel humbled by the fact that these ancient living things will likely continue living long after you're gone.

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Oldest Living Things In the World from Deepspeed media on Vimeo.

Among the wonders in Sussman's collection are the weltwitschia mirabilis, a 2,000-year-old desert plant from Namibia, and the delightfully bizarre bulbous green shapes of Chile's La Llereta. Sussman has traveled all over the world to photograph living organisms 2,000 years and older since 2004.

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These photographs, along with 30 essays on her 30 subjects, have been published in a stunning book by the University of Chicago Press, available for purchase on Amazon.