08 Feb '12, 2pm

The oldest living thing on Earth is 6,000 pounds of grass

The oldest living thing on Earth is 6,000 pounds of grass

Meet Posidonia oceanic, a type of Mediterranean seagrass that is also the longest-lived thing on Earth . What’s its secret? The usual — clean living, plenty of exercise, asexual reproduction, being 6,000 tons of grass, and not getting flattened by climate change … YET. Researchers from the University of Western Australia have determined that patches of P. oceanic, some separated by more than nine miles, comprise what is to the best of our knowledge the oldest living thing on the planet. Analysis shows that the seagrass clusters (which are really all one organism that reproduces by cloning) are likely more than 100,000 years old, though they could be up to twice that ancient. Prof Carlos Duarte, from the University of Western Australia, said the seagrass has been able to reach such old age because it can reproduce asexually and generate clones of itself. Organisms that can ...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/the-oldest-living-thing-on-earth-is...

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