What’s the largest living organism in the world?

| David Lewis | Nature



Next time you are in Fishlake National Forest, Utah, be sure to visit the Trembling Giant. It is a clonal colony of 40,000 male quaking aspen growing from one massive underground root system, making it a single living organism. 

this nature’s wonder spans over 108 acres and is estimated to weigh 13,200,000lbs (6,600 tons), making it the heaviest living organism in the world.  

Bonus fact 1: While the Trembling Giant has a single root system which is estimated to be 14,000 years old, its stems (trunks) grow and die individually. Individual aspen stems typically do not live more than 100–130 years. 

Bonus fact 2: Although the existing root system is, as said, 14,000 years old, due to progressive replacement of both stems and roots, the overall age of the Trembling Giant cannot be determined from tree rings.  Some researches using other methods suggest it is 1 million years old. This of course means it has survived several ice ages underground. 

Bonus fact 3: The Trembling Giant is also known as Pando, meaning “I spread” in Latin.

Bonus fact 4: Despite its proven survival “skills” its future is uncertain due to a combination of drought, fire, grazing, and fire suppression, and human development. We, humans, can help it survive by moderating at least the three last factors.