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Apr 8, 2014 10:46 AM by Stephen Bowers

One of the world's oldest organisms: a green blob

Rachel Sussman is a photographer, and over the last decade she has travelled the world looking for the world's oldest living things. She has compiled the images she found in a book, set to be released this month. says Sussman endured leech bites and coral stings along her journey, which included a drive on the Pan-American Highway. She photographed things like Antarctic moss, estimated at 5,500 years old, in addition to aspen colonies that have been around for around 80,000 years and underwater sea grass that has been on the ocean floor for around 100,000 years. She also photographed this:

While it looks like something fresh out of Ghostbusters, this green blob is actually something called llareta (pronounced "yareta"). What is THAT? It is an evergreen perennial that grows in South America in the Andes Mountains from around 10,500 feet high up to around 15,000 feet high.

As it turns out, llareta is actually a cousin of carrots and parsley. Many that exist today are estimated to be well over 3,000 years old.


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