The Oldest Living—and Non-living—things On Earth, Part Ii
The World’s Oldest Living Plants and Animals
One of the oldest living trees on Earth can be found in Sri Lanka. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is the name of the oldest living tree on record and began as a cutting from the fig tree that Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) was said to have prayed and meditated beneath in India. That original fig tree (or “Ficus religiosa”) is long gone, but the one that remains in the Mahamewna Gardens (Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka) is said to be 2,300 years old.
Hildesheim, Germany, is the home to the world’s oldest living rose. At 1,200 years old, this rose bush is still blooming! Growning alongside a Catholic Cathedral dedicated to Saint Mary, the rose is known as “The Thousand-Year Rose” or the “Hildesheim Rose.” It is thought to have been planted sometime around the year 800 by King Louis the Pious.
The Galápagos Tortoise is one of the most extraordinary creatures imaginable. Not only do they grow enormous in size (up to five feet in length and over 500 pounds) but are also known to live a very long time. Many in the wild live to be 100 (or more) years old! Many Galápagos Tortoises have been killed off throughout the years and are now an endangered species, so it’s extremely important that we educate ourselves on the plight of these incredible animals; thanks to The Charles Darwin Research Station much-needed assistance is being provided for these magnificent tortoises that, of course, live on the Galápagos Islands in South America. The Islands are actually an archipelago located in Ecuador, in the Pacific Ocean. To learn more about the Galápagos Islands, collect your very own Spartan and the Green Egg Explorer Travel Sticker today!
One of the World’s Oldest Structures
Speaking of Sri Lanka, the ancient city of Sigiriya is also located in the island country of South Asia. Sigiriya Citadel Rock is an ancient fortress that sits atop a rocky plateau formed from the magma of a now extinct volcano. This plateau was formed way back during the 3rd century BC (over 2,000 years ago). Amidst the jungles of Sri Lanka, this fortress is an incredible sight to behold as it sits 200 meters high and has walls that measure over six hundred feet in height. “A lion was carved into the stone by King Kasyapa, who was responsible for building the palace.” The word “Sigiriya” originally comes from “Sihagri” (which means “lion rock”). For more information on this amazing and awe-inspiring structure, visit your friends at Spartan and the Green Egg and collect the Sigiriya Explorer Sticker (along with the Sri Lanka Explorer Flag Pin).
For more information on the oldest living things mentioned in this blog, historical sites, and Spartan and the Green Egg Explorer Stickers, visit the websites listed below: