Europe's 'Oldest Living Inhabitant' Still Glowing With Youthful Beauty

First Posted: Aug 22, 2016 03:58 AM EDT

The oldest living organism in Europe is the newly discovered Bosnian pine tree, which is at least 1,075 years old. It can be seen in northern Greece.

International researchers from Germany's the University of Mainz, Sweden's Stockholm University and the University of Arizona in the U.S, dubbed the oldest living thing as "Adonis," which is the Greek god of beauty and desire because it is still glowing with ageless beauty. It is found specifically in a forest in the Pindos mountains near Greece's border with Albania, according to International Business Times.

Paul J. Krusic, the leader of the expedition and the Swedish dendrochronology said that it is quite remarkable that the tree is large, complex and impressive organism has survived so long in such as the inhospitable environment. This is a land that has been civilized for more than 3,000 years.

The team used the dendrochronology, which is the scientific analysis of tree rings. They took a core from the outside to the center of the tree's trunk without putting the health of the tree at risk. This determines the age of the tree, which is 1,075 years old. Adonis is about thousand years younger that the oldest living tree in the world, which is a bristlecone pine in California's White Mountains. It is more than 5,000 years old.

Krusic said many years ago he read about this very interesting forest in Greece. He further said that in their research they try to build long chronologies to build climate histories, so finding living trees of old age is one of their motivations.

He added that he was impressed in the context of western civilization, all the human history that has surrounded this tree. These include the empires such as the Byzantine, the ottoman and all the people living in this region. Furthermore, he said that so many things could have led to its demise and fortunately the forest has been basically untouched for over a thousand years, as noted by UPI.

Bosnian pine is also referred to as Pinus heldreichii, which is a species of pine that grows in the mountainous areas of southern Italy and Balkans. It can also be found in the mountains of northern Greece (Smolikas, Vasilitsa, Valia Kalda and Mount Olympus and other high mountains), Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and southwestern Bulgaria.


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