Europe's "oldest living inhabitant" is a tree in Greece — and it sprouted in 941
Oh, if trees could talk.
Scientists discovered a Bosnian pine in northern Greece that is more than a millennium old, making it the oldest known living tree in Europe, according to Stockholm University. The tree, just a wee seedling in 941, is now dated to be more than 1,075 years old.
The team — a group of scientists from Stockholm University, the University of Mainz and the University of Arizona — named the tree Adonis, the Greek god of beauty and desire. New life goal: age like Adonis.
Scientific importance: The hope is that Adonis, which was discovered along with more than a dozen other trees of millennial age in the Pindos mountains, will provide scientists with a historical account of the conditions of the climate and environment of the region dating back over one thousand years.
Adonis, the Jeanne Calment of trees, has lived through a whole fucking lot, Stockholm University notes — the peak of the Byzantine Empire, Gutenberg's printing press, Isaac Newton's formulation of the Laws on Motion, World War II and the introduction of ice cream in Europe.
"I am impressed, in the context of Western civilization, all the human history that has surrounded this tree; all the empires, the Byzantine, the Ottoman, all the people living in this region. So many things could have led to its demise. Fortunately, this forest has been basically untouched for over a thousand years," Paul J. Krusic, Swedish dendrochronologist and leader of the team that discovered Adonis, told Stockholm University.
Ah, the wonders Mother Nature can reveal when untouched by us savage humans.