(DailyExpertNews) — Who needs new and improved when you can enjoy old and perfected?
Planet walkers seeking adventure might want to consider spending time with these 10 living ambassadors from the past, including a bird with millions of flying miles, a rose that survived an aerial bombardment, a tree associated with Buddha, green spheres in the Andes and huge poriferans in Antarctica.
WILD BIRD: About 70 years old
With persistence and permits, one can see Wisdom and her fellow Phoebastria immutabilis on their Pacific paradise. Midway Atoll is located at the extreme northern end of the Hawaiian archipelago.
LAND ANIMAL: About 190 years
Jonathan’s exact age is uncertain, but he is thought to be about 187.
Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images
He never met the other notable person to live on the island, Napoleon, as the French Emperor died in exile there in 1821. future governor of St. Helena in 1882.
He has since roamed the governor’s grand estate, enjoying the company of other giant tortoises and frequent human guests.
BLOOMING ROSE: About 1200 years
Celebrated as the millennial rose, a towering rose bush in Germany is said to have been founded in 815 by King Louis the Pious.
The shrub grows next to a Catholic cathedral dedicated to St. Mary in Hildesheim, a beautiful medieval village known for its old churches.
In addition to beauty and age, the plant shows remarkable steadfastness. Allied bombing during World War II left the cathedral in ruins, but the rose, a Rosa canina, also known as the dog rose, somehow survived, blooming and now growing more than 10 meters high next to the apse of the restored church.
Visit anytime, but late May and early June are the best times to see the delicate pink blossoms.
PLANNED TREE: About 2,300 years
The sacred Bodhi tree at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Temple in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
The fig tree under which Siddhartha Gautama experienced enlightenment in India is long gone, but a cut of it, circa 250 BC, to the Buddhist world, and the oldest known planting tree in history.
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Ficus religiosa, has welcomed the religious, the curious and the nefarious in the centuries since.
HG Wells marveled at it. Elephants damaged it. Tamil separatists besieged it.
Today, pilgrims of all kinds, especially on full moon (poya) days, pay tribute to the tree, which nestles among elaborate gardens, canals, golden gates, religious stupas and younger Bodhi trees in the Mahamevnawa Gardens in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
WORKING TREE: About 2500 years
Whether planted by man or nature, between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago, before the rise of classical Greece, a seed sprouted on the Mediterranean island of Crete that produces an annual crop of olives to this day.
But the monumental tree in the village of Vouves does more than make drupes. It and other ancient Olea europaea nearby, similar in shriveled age and appearance, attract artists, religious leaders, Olympians and heads of state, inspired by their distinctively gnarled trunks and limbs.
A museum was opened next to the tree that highlights the traditional olive harvesting techniques of Crete. Crete was once the seat of the Minoan civilization, which flourished in ancient times through the olive oil trade.
WILD HERBS: About 3,000 years
These striking blobs are Andean shrubs that can be thousands of years old.
The Yareta or llareta, bright green blobs that resemble moss-covered boulders, are actually flowering shrubs perfectly designed to withstand the high elevation of the Andes Mountains in Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile and western Argentina.
Wind, freezing temperatures and drought are no match for Azorella compacta, a wild, inedible relative of parsley and fennel, which slowly and methodically makes a living, growing only one meter per century.
Due to their slow growth rate, the largest shrubs are believed to be about 3,000 years old.
Given their density – a bush can easily support the weight of a person – Yareta is used as a traditional fuel like peat. Fortunately, South American governments have banded together to protect the endangered species.
SINGLE TREE: About 5000 years
Methuselah, a pine cone in the White Mountains of California, has reached maturity at about 5,000 years, making it the oldest known uncloned living organism on Earth.
Whether you run into the oldest or not, this forest of gray, knotted pines—much older than the Egyptian pyramids, clinging to craggy arid mountains jutting out of the desert floor—is no less inspiring.
LIVE ANIMALS: About 15,000 years
Antarctica’s volcanic sponges, Anoxycalyx joubini.
Antarctica’s volcanic sponges, Anoxycalyx joubini, are whitish blobs that resemble giant beer barrels or miniature volcanoes. They pepper the cold waters around McMurdo Sound and their estimated age is based on the enormous size of the sponges, which only grow a little bit each year.
They thrive in depths from 50 to 500 feet, sentries of a deep realm they share with other strange creatures, such as tiny crustaceans and squiggly worms that live in the sponges, and groups of pincushioned starfish that dine on the six-foot-long monsters.
LAND FOREST: About 80,000 years
Utah’s trembling giant is made up of nearly 50,000 quivering aspen trees, but the entire Populus tremuloides forest is genetically identical and shares a single root system, technically making it a single organism.
Also known as Pando, Latin for “I Spread Out”, this individual male clonal colony spans over 100 acres.
The leaves of a trembling aspen flutter quite a bit in the mildest wind. Listen to the melodic effect times tens of thousands as you stay overnight, right in Pando’s heart, at a campground in Fishlake National Forest.
SEA BAD: about 200,000 years
A ten-mile stretch of seagrass meadow near Spain is considered the oldest known single organism on Earth, according to geneticists.
Posidonia oceanica, known as Neptune’s grass, is endemic to the Mediterranean. But a piece off the island of Formentera, itself cloned like Pando, stands out for its age, estimated at 200,000 years.
Fortunately, the island, the smallest of the Spanish Balearic Islands, does not have the bustle of nearby Ibiza, from where one takes the ferry to Formentera. In addition to a diving or snorkeling adventure to the ancient marine forest, you can explore the island’s scenic lighthouse and caves.