Trees are some of the oldest known living organism on the planet. Surviving on this planet for 385 million years, only a handful of organisms live longer lives, mostly sponges, coral, and bacteria. Trees have survived nearly every disaster this planet has seen and there are trees on this planet that have been alive for millennia. While the trees themselves cannot speak, the record they contain inside their bark help modern scientists understand what the world looked in ancient times. For the record the oldest living human on record was 122 years, a mere speck of time to some of these trees.

One of the oldest trees in the United States (and long considered to be the oldest living tree on the planet) is known as Methuselah. It is a bristlecone pine tree in California’s White Mountains in the Inyo National Forest, though that is all the information that is given to the public. It’s exact location is a secret known by only a few in the Forest Service to prevent vandalism. Methuselah is 4,848 years old (as of 2016) and it was believed to be the oldest tree in the US until 2012 when another bristlecone pine was discovered nearby that was about 200 years older though it has never been formally announced as the world’s oldest. Sadly in 1964 another tree in the White Mountains known as Prometheus was accidentally felled by a scientist who didn’t realize the tree was older than Methuselah. It is the oldest non-clonal tree on the planet, or at least was until 2012 when the other tree was discovered.