The Oldest Living Things
Rachel Sussman has spent the past decade traveling around the world, taking pictures of old things. Like, really old things.
Sussman had been traveling through Japan with no real mandate other than photography when she heard about a 7,000 year-old tree on the remote island of Yaku Shima. It took her two days to hike to its location. It wasn’t until she’d returned home and had time to think that she developed the idea to combine her passion for art, science, and philosophy. The Oldest Living Things in the World documents continuously living organisms more than 2,000 years old.
Spruce Gran Picea: 9,550 years old (Fulufjället, Sweden)
While researching for the project, Sussman worked with biologists and hit every single continent. The book includes portraits of thirty species, ranging from lichens in Greenland, desert shrubs in Africa and South America, fungi in Oregon, brain coral in the Caribbean, Tasmania, the Australian Outback – the list goes on.
La Llareta: 2,000+ years old (Atacama Desert, Chile)
In a stroke of genius – and an endeavor to encourage a connection between readers and subjects – Sussman chose to approach the photographs as portraits rather than large landscapes that happened to contain these lifeforms.
Pando, Clonal Colony of Quaking Aspen: 80,000 years old (Fish Lake, Utah)
Stromatolites: 2-3,000 years old (Carbla Station, Western Australia)
Antartic Beech: 6,000 years old (Lamington National Park, Australia)
Posidonia Oceania Sea Grass: 100,000 years old (Balaric Islands, Spain)
Huan Pine: 10,500 years old (Mount Read, Tazmania)
Palmer's Oak: 13,000 years old (Riverside, California)
Bristlecone Pine: 5,000 years old (White Mountains, California)
Artic Moss: 5,500 years old (Elephant Island, Antartica)
For more on Rachel Sussman's work visit her website
And you can purchase The Oldest Living Things in the World here
Images ©: Rachel Sussman