Nature & Environment
Tree in Chile could be oldest in the world
By T.K. Randall
June 11, 2022 · 12 comments
Is this the world's oldest tree ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Yiyo Zamorano
An enormous tree in the Chilean Andes is a contender for the oldest living tree on Earth at 5,400 years old.
It's difficult to imagine living for thousands of years, yet there are trees alive today that were around when the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid and when the builders of Stonehenge laid the first stone.
The current record holder for "world's oldest tree" is a Great Basin bristlecone pine in California known as Methuselah which is 4,853 years old, however researchers believe that they have found another candidate which could be even older.
The tree - a Gran Abuelo found in the Chilean Andes - could be as much as 5,400 years old.
As things stand, however, its exact age remains a matter of some controversy because it has yet to be definitively confirmed and the underlying data has not been peer-reviewed.
There is still no doubt, though, that this ancient behemoth needs to be protected, because it is still thousands of years old even if it doesn't quite exceed the world record.
According to climate and ecology scientist Jonathan Barichivich, it is currently suffering from the effects of climate change and a rather excessive number of visitors.
"It's really in poor condition because of tourism," he told Live Science
Source: Live Science
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