The oldest life form on the planet. . . almost

 

At over 1,500 years old, the Angel Oak is among the oldest living organisms on the planet.

At over 1,500 years old, the Angel Oak is among the oldest living organisms on the planet.

Tree of Wisdom

In the coastal planes of South Caroline there lives a tree which began its life just as the Roman Empire was beginning to fall to the barbarian hoards of the Germanic warlords.

This tree, aptly named the Angel Oak, is speculated to be over 1,500 years old, making it one of the oldest living organisms on the planet. Only a select few of the giant redwoods of California can claim to be its senior.

The tree itself is an incredible specimen, and quite frankly has to be seen to be believed. For a travel photographer, getting to experience this behemoth is a real treat, and a real challenge. Here grows a tree so massive that its likeness cannot be captured by a single wide angle lens (not even a fisheye can take in this vast expanse of tangled foliage in a single frame).

Photographers who visit the Angel Oak are faced with a terrestrial titan of kraken-like proportions. Its soaring branches expand not up, but out, soaring across the land like so many octopi tentacles searching to grapple unsuspecting clams.

If you take the opportunity to visit, make certain you have plenty of time to soak the whole scene in, for here stands a life form which has endured the test of time to become an unspoken wonder of the world.

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