Documenting the Oldest Living Things in the World

22:04 minutes

A visit to a 7,000-year-old tree launched photographer Rachel Sussman on a quest: to visit and document the oldest living organisms on earth. A decade later, she’s collected her shots in a family album, The Oldest Living Things in the World. Ira speaks with Sussman and science writer Carl Zimmer about why and how some lives become so long. (Read more about one of the oldest living plants, the llareta, here.)

Segment Guests

Rachel Sussman

Rachel Sussman is an artist and author of The Oldest Living Things in the World (The University of Chicago Press, 2014) in Brooklyn, New York.

Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer is a science journalist and columnist for The New York Times based in Guilford, Connecticut.

Meet the Producer

About Annie Minoff

Annie Minoff is Science Friday’s SciArts producer. She’s visited Olympic ski jumps and a nuclear reactor, all in the name of science.

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Llareta, One of the Oldest Living Plants in the World

This hard-as-a-rock South American cushion plant can live thousands of years.

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