At TED, Rachel Sussman describes her travels in search of the oldest living things in the world. They include lichen that grown only 1 centimeter every 100 years. They also include a clonal colony of quaking aspen trees, which is 80,000 years old. You’ll see a photo of a 9,550 year old Swedish spruce, the location of which is kept secret in order to protect it. I had never before heard of the “underground forests” of South Africa (up to 13,000 years old). In the U.S. we have clonal creosote bushes and Yucca plants (both of these up to 12,000 years old) in the Mojave Desert. Spoiler alert: Th eoldest living thing seems to be Siberian actinobacteria (between 400,000 and 600,000) years old. I really enjoyed this talk, though it was distressing how often Sussman mentioned that human activity is threatening these ancient living life forms.