If the blue whale is the biggest animal on Earth, and a Sequoia redwood tree is the tallest tree, what are the heaviest or most widespread organisms that explorers and scientists have ever found?
Minute Earth explains The Biggest Organism on Earth.
Spoilers ahead. Follow the links to learn more:
The most extensive organism is a very old “humongous fungus” that covers a whopping 2,385 acres in a national forest in Oregon…
However, if we’re talking about the good old heaviest organism ever found, that prize goes to… a single quaking aspen [Populus tremuloides] named “Pando” that weighs over 6,000 tonnes – as much as forty blue whales. If you go to Fishlake National Forest, though, you won’t see a giant tree trunk – you’ll just see a forest of regular-sized trees. But, thanks to genetic testing, we’ve learned that this stand of aspen covering 106 acres of land is actually a single clonal organism that grew from a lone seed long ago.
Related reading: A working list of the largest organisms.
There are also more whales, more trees, and more mushrooms in the archives.
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