On Friday we asked: What is the largest and oldest known non fungal organism? We had some interesting answers, but one clear winner. The answer:
Pando Grove is a large grove of Quaking Aspen located (near my home) in Utah's Fish Lake National Forest. The thousands of trees that make up this 106 acres grove are actually the same organism connect through the roots. There may be other larger and older Aspen groves in the Mountain West, but Pando is the largest confirmed.
The trees get their name from the soft quaking sound made when the breeze blows throuhg their leaves. We locals, simply refer to them as quakeys.
Although there is no definitive way of knowing exactly how old Pando actually is, scientists estimate its age somewhere between 80,000 to 1,000,000 years. If this is true, that means this thing has survived:
- Countless wildfires and droughts
- Ice ages and periods of warming
- Bug infestations and tree diseases
- Comet and meteor impacts
- Wooly Mammoths and Giant Beavers
According to anthropologists, it has also survived about 12,000 years of human habitation. This thing will be around long after we have become dust. It may be the best example of why nature does not need to be protected from man. Still, the Eco-Nazis have convinced Washington bureaucrats (most of whom have never been here) to close off large portions of the Mountain West to protect our delicate wilderness.