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Nature Overachievers World Records

Plants Are Awesome, Too

Poor conversationalists, but very beautiful.
Poor conversationalists, but very beautiful.

It occurred to me that I’ve been giving animals a whole lot of loving while completely ignoring the leafy side of the coin. Plants can be just as lovable as puppies and kittens! Well, mostly… Regardless, here’s to some mighty massive plants!

Trees are an obvious place to start when it comes to record size and staying power. These plus-size plants manage to reach their epic heights by growing over the course of dozens, if not hundreds of years. But just like with animals, there’s always overachievers.

The current oldest living tree is Old Tjikko in Switzerland. It was born approximately 9,550 years ago. To put this into perspective, it was born a mere fourteen years after Atlantis sank into the sea(according to legend.) As is often the case with the geriatric set, this tree’s a little on the short side.  The ancient specimen stands a paltry sixteen feet tall.

Not surprisingly, the record for tallest living tree goes to Hyperion, a redwood tree in Northern California. It stands at an astounding height of 379 feet, equivalent to a 31-story building. Despite it’s amazing stature, Hyperion is believed to be between 700 and 800 years old.

So we have the oldest, and the tallest, but what about the largest overall?

That record goes to General Sherman, a 2,100 year-old Giant Sequoia that can be found appropriately enough in Sequoia National Park in California(what is it about that state, anyway?) The good General is a good hundred feet shorter than Hyperion, but is over 27 feet wide. The bark itself is believed to be up to two feet thick in places! The estimated weight for this behemoth?  4,000,000 pounds.

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