The Oldest Living Things On Earth Captured On Camera Before They Disappear Completely
For nearly a decade, Brooklyn-based contemporary artist Rachel Sussman has been researching, working with biologists and traveling around the world to document the oldest living things on Earth. From Greenland to Antarctica and from the Mojave Desert to the Australian Outback, she‘s been photographing various organisms leading their slow-paced lives for 2000 years and more.
Sussman photographed 30 representative species, including 3,000-year-old lichens in Greenland that grow only 1 centimetre every 100 years and a giant 80,000-year-old colony of aspens in Utah. These ancient organisms have lived for millennia, but most of us don’t even realise they exist. Due to rapidly changing climate and human encroachment, these survivors are in danger of vanishing from the face of the Earth.
This astonishing and timeless decade’s worth of work by Sussman and her team has been published in “The Oldest Living Things in the World”. There you can find 124 photographs with infographics, essays and travelogues depicting the fascinating adventures she had tracking down these bits of our planet’s biological history.
La Llareta #0308-23B26 (up to 3,000 years old; Atacama Desert, Chile)
Jōmon Sugi, Japanese Cedar #0704-002 (2,180-7,000 years old; Yakushima, Japan)
Antarctic Moss #0212-7B33 (5,500 years old; Elephant Island, Antarctica)
Underground Forest #0707-10333 (13,000 years old; Pretoria South Africa) DECEASED
Welwitschia Mirabilis #0707-22411 (2,000 years old; Namib-Naukluft Desert, Namibia)
Map lichen R. Geographicum #0808-04A05 (3,000 years old; Southern Greenland)
Spruce Gran Picea #0909 – 11A07 (9,550 years old; Fulufjället, Sweden)