Saturday, October 5, 2013

#278 / The World's Largest Organism

The trees pictured above (actually the "tree" pictured above, called "The Trembling Giant," or the Pando) was hailed by The New York Times in 1992 as the "world's largest organism." The Times' 1992 editorial was prescient in predicting that "scientists ... given enough time ... will surely find an even bigger organism." In 2007, Scientific American announced that a fungus in Oregon is, in fact, the "world's largest organism.

What distinguishes the Pando and the Oregon fungus as single organisms is a set of common genetics, and the fact that all the separate and individual-appearing manifestations of the organism, "above ground," turn out to be connected together "underground."

Wouldn't it be amazing if scientists discovered, someday, that the world's largest organism, in fact, is the human race itself, appearing to be made up of multiple individuals, but connected genetically, and connected also in other ways ways not immediately apparent to someone looking at the surface of things, and not getting to any deeper place.

There could be some truth to that, you know. Given enough time, maybe the scientists will figure it out. 

Or, and here's a thought,  maybe we could figure that out for ourselves!

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