Monday, March 21, 2011

Pando, the World's Heaviest Living Thing
Pando is a place. You can go to Pando and walk through it for days.

Pando is also a living being, the heaviest and possibly the oldest on the planet.

Known  also as The Trembling Giant, Pando is a grove in the state of Utah that has been determined by genetic analysis to be a clonal colony of a male Quaking Aspen(Populous tremuloides).

Basically every one of it's more than 47,000 trunks, spread across 107 acres and weighing in excess of 6000 tons, is genetically identical and springs from a single massive root structure.

One organism. One global mind you could literally get lost in. This being has been around for at least 80,000 years, possibly closer to 1 million according to more recent estimates.
This means that if you want to, you could literally go to Utah and have a picnic in the depths of an ancient being that was already old when human beings were learning how to use tools and manipulate fire.

That blows my mind.

Seriously, the simple fact that something so strange and wondrous actually exists fills me with a combination of hope and sadness for this planet.

There are wonders like this everywhere, and I feel it is our solemn duty as the reigning species on this earth to ensure that they are known, honored, and most of all allowed to exist as long as the laws of nature will let them.

No comments:

Post a Comment