The Oldest Living Things in the World

The Oldest Living Things in the World

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"The Oldest Living Things in the World is an epic journey through time and space. Over the past decade, artist Rachel Sussman has researched, worked with biologists, and traveled the world to photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. Spanning from Antarctica to Greenland, the Mojave Desert to the Australian Outback, the result is a stunning and unique visual collection of ancient organisms unlike anything that has been created in the arts or sciences before, insightfully and accessibly narrated by Sussman along the way ... Alongside the photographs, Sussman relays fascinating -- and sometimes harrowing -- tales of her global adventures tracking down her subjects and shares insights from the scientists who research them. The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future."--Publisher's description.
Publisher: Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 2014
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780226057507
Branch Call Number: 571.879 S9647o 2014
Characteristics: xxxiii, 269 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Additional Contributors: Obrist, Hans Ulrich
Zimmer, Carl 1966-
Call Number: 571.879 S9647o 2014


From Library Staff

Gorgeous, large format photography book of organisms from

very big to very small, that have celebrated more than 2,000

birthdays.  Oldest organism on the planet? Siberian

Actinobacteria at 400,000 - 600,000 years old.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 18, 2018

Worth reading. It's astounding to imagine plants and animals this old. (This is the second time I read this.)

Mar 02, 2017

The photos, of course, are beautiful and intriguing, but so are the accompanying essays, which shed light on the "things" and, particularly interesting, how their ages are known.

Sep 01, 2015

A magnificent book, combining aspects of travel, exploration, natural history and the celebration of life on this fantastic planet that we've just begun to understand. One of the themes that leapt out at me was how often those life forms that have survived the longest do so in some of the most hostile and unforgiving locales -- total deserts, arctic permafrost, ocean depths. Almost every page of the book reveals new insights, surprising vistas, impressive life strategies and adaptations that have enabled creatures to thrive over thousands of years while seemingly more sophisticated animals and plants died and were replaced by offspring or disappeared altogether. Sussman's patter about her personal adventures are a bit trivial (one can skip over most of it without missing much) but her survey of geologic time and taxonomy of life on Earth are very well done. And the photographs are stunning!

Mar 26, 2015

Disappointing, both the images and the text.
The concept/title caught my attention but the book itself seems just another coffee table book.

Mar 25, 2015

Photos of truly amazing plants.

Two criticisms: the font is tiny and the book weighs about 5 pounds. Exhausting for this older reader.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at KCLibrary.

Try searching for The Oldest Living Things in the World to see if KCLibrary owns related versions of the work.

To Top