High on windswept ridges in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in eastern California’s White Mountains live the planet’s oldest known living organisms – the ancient Bristlecone Pines (Pinus longaeva). Some of these trees were already growing when the Egyptians built the pyramids over 4000 years ago. The oldest known Bristlecone Pine is “Methuselah”. This gnarled and twisted tree is about 4,800 years old – and still able to reproduce.
But only a few bristlecones have been able to grow to such incredibly old ages, survived ultraviolet rays, extreme cold, wind, and aridity in this harsh environment between the Eastern Sierra Nevada and Death Valley in an elevation between 10,000 and 11,000 feet (3,048 and 3,354 meters) above sea level. These old trees, the oldest living things on earth, 2800 years older than Christ, are now strictly protected by law and guarded carefully.
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