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Where Are the Oldest Forests in the World?

Por: Ecoo sfera10 de enero de 2023

The oldest forests in the world are made up of a sublime network of old trees.

Trees are probably the longest-lived creatures on the planet, with a life expectancy of 700 years for sequoias and more than two millennia for bristlecone pines, it is not surprising that some of these specimens have been here since prehistoric times. But, in addition to the oldest trees still alive and dating back millennia, there are also the oldest forests in the world that are made up of a sublime network of old trees.

Where Are the Oldest Forests?

Tongass National Forest

Located in Alaska, it is the largest temperate forest on the planet. It covers a total area of 17 million acres, making it crucial to nature as it absorbs between 10% and 12% of all the carbon captured by U.S. forests.

But the most surprising feature of this magical forest is that it is surprisingly old, with an estimated age of more than 800 years, so in its glaciers, you can find remains of the last ice age. It is currently guarded by the Alaskan natives who have lived in it throughout its history.

Waipoua Forest

New Zealand is famous for its exotic wildlife, but it is not the only thing it has; it is also home to one of the oldest forests in the world. It is the Waipoua forest which is mostly inhabited by kauri trees that have been guarded by the traditional Maori people, as it is the largest type of tree in the region.

The kauri is not exactly tall, growing up to 50 meters in height, but they are the largest as they have an impressive trunk measuring up to 16 meters in diameter. It is believed that the oldest Waipoua kauri is between 2,500 and 3,000 years old.

Yakushima Forest

This primitive temperate rainforest is located on the island of Yukushima in Japan. Thanks to receiving an overabundance of rain, it takes on the characteristic greenish color that gives it the appearance of a fairytale forest, as its rocks are often covered with mosses. It was the inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki to create Princess Mononoke.

It is mostly made up of yakusugi trees, a species of Japanese cedar that stands out for its beauty and longevity. The oldest cedar tree in the forest is estimated to be approximately 7,000 years old.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

In the heart of the Inyo National Forest in California, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to Methuselah, the famous twisted trunk tree that is still alive after millennia of inhabiting the Earth. Bristlecone pines are recognized among all other tree species for having a life expectancy measured in millennia. Some of the bristlecone pines that live here are over 4,000 years old.

Daintree Rainforest

Also in Oceania, the Daintree Rainforest is located in Australia and surprises every naturalist who dares to delve into its secrets, because, according to analysis, it is about 180 million years old. It has witnessed the most important geological events of the planet, and since ancient times, it has been home to thousands of species that have evolved.

It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is currently home to 30% of the amphibians, reptiles, and marsupials in all of Australia, as well as 65% of the bats and butterflies. This rainforest is simply an unparalleled treasure of the planet.

Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera

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