Since 2004, Rachel Sussman has researched what the oldest living things are in the world and then braved some of the harshest climates in the world in order to photograph and document them before they’re wiped off the planet altogether.
We’re mainly talking about plant based lifeforms here like a Japanese Cedar that could be 7000 years old and Antarctic Moss that could be 5500 years old. Sussman realised that although some of these lifeforms have existed for thousands of years on the planet, that the intrusion of human activity could possibly effect their existences and so thought it prudent that she photograph and record all of them before this happened.
Indeed, some of the images on this page are actually now deceased, such as the Pretoria Underground Forest in South Africa, which had been alive for 7500 years previous to that.
Sussman’s collection of photographs has recently been made into a book imaginatively entitled ‘The Oldest Living Things In The World’ and features 124 photographs and 30 essays about some of the living creatures featured in it. Here are some of the best pictures as well as a promo video for the book.
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La Llareta (Up To 3,000 Years Old; Atacama Desert, Chile)
Spruce Gran Picea #0909 — 11A07 (9,550 Years Old; FulufjÃ¤llet, Sweden)
Welwitschia Mirabilis #0707-22411 (2,000 Years Old; Namib-Naukluft Desert, Namibia)
Antarctic Moss #0212-7B33 (5,500 Years Old; Elephant Island, Antarctica)
JÅmon Sugi, Japanese Cedar #0704-002 (2,180-7,000 Years Old; Yakushima, Japan
Underground Forest #0707-10333 (13,000 years old; Pretoria South Africa) DECEASED