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  • This strange-looking plant is called the Llareta.

    譯者: Sunshine Wang 審譯者: Wang-Ju Tsai

  • What looks like moss covering rocks

    這種外形奇怪的植物叫做緊密小鷹芹。

  • is actually a shrub

    看起來像是岩石上長滿了苔蘚

  • comprised of thousands of branches,

    其實是由成千上萬的

  • each containing clusters of tiny green leaves at the end

    灌木叢的樹枝所組成的,

  • and so densely packed together

    每個樹枝末端都有一簇小綠葉

  • that you could actually stand on top of it.

    非常緊密扎實的包覆在一起

  • This individual lives in the Atacama Desert in Chile,

    你甚至可以站在上面。

  • and it happens to be 3,000 years old.

    這種植物生長在智利的阿塔卡馬沙漠,

  • It also happens to be a relative of parsley.

    已經有3000歲了。

  • For the past five years, I've been researching,

    它是歐芹的近親。

  • working with biologists

    過去五年來,我一直在做研究,

  • and traveling all over the world

    和生物學家一起工作

  • to find continuously living organisms

    到世界各地

  • that are 2,000 years old and older.

    尋找存活至今2000年

  • The project is part art and part science.

    或更老的古老生物。

  • There's an environmental component.

    這項研究既是藝術也是科學。

  • And I'm also trying to create a means

    這其中也包括了環境因素。

  • in which to step outside our quotidian experience of time

    同時我也試著創造一種方式

  • and to start to consider a deeper timescale.

    試著跳脫出我們慣性的時間觀

  • I selected 2,000 years as my minimum age

    以一種更深刻的時間觀來思考。

  • because I wanted to start at what we consider to be year zero

    之所以選擇2000年為底限

  • and work backward from there.

    是因為我想從西元零年開始

  • What you're looking at now is a tree called Jomon Sugi,

    往回追朔。

  • living on the remote island of Yakushima.

    您現在看到的這棵樹是繩文杉,

  • The tree was in part a catalyst for the project.

    生長在人跡罕至的日本屋九島。

  • I'd been traveling in Japan

    這項研究之所以開始有一部分就是因為這棵樹

  • without an agenda other than to photograph,

    當時我到日本去

  • and then I heard about this tree

    除了拍照外沒有其它的計畫,

  • that is 2,180 years old

    我聽說了這棵

  • and knew that I had to go visit it.

    2180歲的樹

  • It wasn't until later, when I was actually back home in New York

    心想我一定得去看一看。

  • that I got the idea for the project.

    後來,我回到紐約之後

  • So it was the slow churn, if you will.

    這個研究計畫的想法才浮現腦海。

  • I think it was my longstanding desire

    它在我的心裡慢慢持續的攪動。

  • to bring together my interest

    我想這可以說是我多年以來的渴望

  • in art, science and philosophy

    把我在藝術,科學及哲學上的

  • that allowed me to be ready

    興趣結合在一起

  • when the proverbial light bulb went on.

    讓我準備就緒

  • So I started researching, and to my surprise,

    在靈光乍現時可以把握住機會。

  • this project had never been done before

    我開始了研究工作,出乎我意料的是,

  • in the arts or the sciences.

    不論是藝術或科學領域

  • And -- perhaps naively --

    都沒有人做過相關的研究。

  • I was surprised to find that there isn't even an area in the sciences

    或許我很天真,

  • that deals with this idea

    我很訝異的發現在任何的科學領域裡

  • of global species longevity.

    竟然都沒有地球物種壽命

  • So what you're looking at here

    的相關研究。

  • is the rhizocarpon geographicum, or map lichen,

    您現在看到的是

  • and this is around 3,000 years old

    地圖衣屬地衣,

  • and lives in Greenland,

    它已經有3000多歲了

  • which is a long way to go for some lichens.

    生長在格陵蘭,

  • Visiting Greenland was more like

    這真是一趟遙遠的旅程。

  • traveling back in time

    去格陵蘭好像是

  • than just traveling very far north.

    回到古代的時空之旅

  • It was very primal and more remote

    而不僅僅是旅行到北方極地而已。

  • than anything I'd ever experienced before.

    這比起任何我曾去過的地方

  • And this is heightened by a couple of particular experiences.

    都要來的原始,遙遠。

  • One was when I had been dropped off by boat

    一些特别的經驗也為此行增色不少。

  • on a remote fjord,

    有一次我在一個

  • only to find that the archeologists I was supposed to meet

    偏僻的峽灣下了船,

  • were nowhere to be found.

    結果原本約好要碰頭的考古學家

  • And it's not like you could send them a text or shoot them an e-mail,

    卻不見人影。

  • so I was literally left to my own devices.

    又不能傳簡訊,還是發email,

  • But luckily, it worked out obviously,

    我完全只能靠我带的裝備。

  • but it was a humbling experience

    很幸運,我安然無恙。

  • to feel so disconnected.

    覺得完全與世隔絕的經驗

  • And then a few days later,

    讓我感到謙卑、渺小。

  • we had the opportunity to go fishing in a glacial stream

    幾天後,

  • near our campsite,

    我們有機會去紮營附近

  • where the fish were so abundant

    的冰川釣魚,

  • that you could literally reach into the stream

    那裡魚好多好多

  • and grab out a foot-long trout with your bare hands.

    多到你只要把手伸進河裡

  • It was like visiting

    就可以徒手抓起一條一尺長的鱒魚。

  • a more innocent time on the planet.

    這就好像回到

  • And then, of course, there's the lichens.

    地球純真美好的年代。

  • These lichens grow only one centimeter

    當然,那時也有地衣。

  • every hundred years.

    這些地衣一百年

  • I think that really puts human lifespans

    只長一公分。

  • into a different perspective.

    我認為這真的賦予人類的生命周期

  • And what you're looking at here

    一個不同的觀點。

  • is an aerial photo take over eastern Oregon.

    您現在看到的是

  • And if the title "Searching for Armillaria Death Rings,"

    俄勒岡州東部的空拍照片。

  • sounds ominous, it is.

    「尋找蜜環菌死亡圈」

  • The Armillaria is actually a predatory fungus,

    聽起來很不吉利,而事實就是如此。

  • killing certain species of trees in the forest.

    蜜環菌是一種掠食性真菌,

  • It's also more benignly known

    在森林裡掠殺某些樹種。

  • as the honey mushroom or the "humongous fungus"

    我們給了它一個好聽的名字

  • because it happens to be

    叫蜜環菌,或巨大菇

  • one of the world's largest organisms as well.

    因為它是

  • So with the help of some biologists studying the fungus,

    全世界最大的生物之一。

  • I got some maps and some GPS coordinates

    在幾位研究蜜環菌的生物學家的幫助下,

  • and chartered a plane

    我帶了幾張地圖,幾台全球衛星定位系統

  • and started looking for the death rings,

    租了一架飛機

  • the circular patterns

    開始尋找死亡圈,

  • in which the fungus kills the trees.

    一種因為菌類啃食

  • So I'm not sure if there are any in this photo,

    樹木而形成的圓形區域。

  • but I do know the fungus is down there.

    我不確定這張照片中是否有任何我所要找的死亡圈,

  • And then this back down on the ground

    但是我知道蜜環菌就在這裡。

  • and you can see that the fungus is actually invading this tree.

    就在這片土地底下,

  • So that white material that you see

    你可以看到蜜環菌正在侵蝕這棵樹。

  • in between the bark and the wood

    您所看到在樹皮與樹

  • is the mycelial felt of the fungus,

    之間的白色的東西

  • and what it's doing -- it's actually

    就是蜜環菌的菌絲叢,

  • slowly strangling the tree to death

    事實上它正在做的是

  • by preventing the flow of water and nutrients.

    阻斷水和養分的運輸

  • So this strategy has served it pretty well --

    慢慢的讓這棵樹窒息而死。

  • it's 2,400 years old.

    這種策略相當的成功。

  • And then from underground to underwater.

    蜜環菌已經存活了2400年了。

  • This is a Brain Coral living in Tobago

    好,看完地底,再來看看水底。

  • that's around 2,000 years old.

    這是生存於多巴哥海岸的腦珊瑚

  • And I had to overcome my fear of deep water to find this one.

    約有2000多歲了。

  • This is at about 60 feet

    我必須克服對於深水的恐懼去尋找它。

  • or 18 meters, depth.

    它位於水深約60英呎,

  • And you'll see, there's some damage to the surface of the coral.

    18公尺的深度。

  • That was actually caused by a school of parrot fish

    各位可以看見腦珊瑚表面有些損傷。

  • that had started eating it,

    這因為一群鸚鵡魚

  • though luckily, they lost interest before killing it.

    吃了它一段時間,

  • Luckily still, it seems to be out of harm's way

    幸好,鸚鵡魚在殺死腦珊瑚之前就對它沒興趣了。

  • of the recent oil spill.

    更幸運的是,最近的原油外漏汙染

  • But that being said, we just as easily could have lost

    好像没有沒有影響到它。

  • one of the oldest living things on the planet,

    雖說如此,我們很可能失去

  • and the full impact of that disaster

    地球上任何古老的生物,

  • is still yet to be seen.

    而此一災難的全面性影響為何

  • Now this is something that I think

    我們仍無法預料。

  • is one of the most quietly resilient things on the planet.

    這是我認為

  • This is clonal colony

    在這個星球上擁有最佳適應力物種之一。

  • of Quaking Aspen trees, living in Utah,

    它是無性繁殖菌落

  • that is literally 80,000 years old.

    寄生在美國猶他州的白楊樹上,

  • What looks like a forest

    事實上它已經存活了八萬年之久。

  • is actually only one tree.

    看起來像是一片森林

  • Imagine that it's one giant root system

    其實是同一棵樹。

  • and each tree is a stem

    可以把它想像成是一個龐大的根系統

  • coming up from that system.

    而每一棵樹都是

  • So what you have is one giant,

    從這個系統長出來的莖。

  • interconnected,

    所以這一整片樹林是一個巨大無比,

  • genetically identical individual

    彼此連結,

  • that's been living for 80,000 years.

    基因相同的一棵

  • It also happens to be male

    已經有八萬歲的樹。

  • and, in theory immortal.

    而且這棵樹是雄性植株,

  • (Laughter)

    從理論來說它可以長生不老。

  • This is a clonal tree as well.

    (笑聲)

  • This is the spruce Gran Picea,

    這棵樹也是無性繁殖的。

  • which at 9,550 years

    它是雲杉,

  • is a mere babe in the woods.

    已經有9550歲了,

  • The location of this tree

    但是在樹林裡它只是個小baby。

  • is actually kept secret for its own protection.

    為了保護這棵樹

  • I spoke to the biologist who discovered this tree,

    它的位置我們不對外透露。

  • and he told me that that spindly growth you see there in the center

    我和發現它的生物學家談過,

  • is most likely a product of climate change.

    他說位於中間的細長的植株

  • As it's gotten warmer on the top of the mountain,

    極有可能是氣候變遷的產物。

  • the vegetation zone is actually changing.

    隨著山頂氣溫升高,

  • So we don't even necessarily have to have

    植被帶也隨之改變。

  • direct contact with these organisms

    我們不需和這些植物

  • to have a very real impact on them.

    有直接的接觸

  • This is the Fortingall Yew --

    就可以對它們產生實際的衝擊。

  • no, I'm just kidding --

    這是福廷加爾紫杉。

  • this is the Fortingall Yew.

    不是啦,開個玩笑。

  • (Laughter)

    這才是福廷加爾紫杉。

  • But I put that slide in there

    (笑聲)

  • because I'm often asked if there are any animals in the project.

    我放那張幻灯片是因為

  • And aside from coral,

    常常有人問我這個研究裡有沒有動物。

  • the answer is no.

    答案是:除了珊瑚之外,

  • Does anybody know how old the oldest tortoise is --

    沒有。

  • any guesses?

    有人知道最老的烏龜幾歲?

  • (Audience: 300.)

    猜猜看?

  • Rachel Sussman: 300? No, 175

    (聽眾:300歲。)

  • is the oldest living tortoise,

    300歲?其實現存

  • so nowhere near 2,000.

    最老的陸龜是175歲,

  • And then, you might have heard

    離兩千歲還差得很遠。

  • of this giant clam that was discovered

    各位可能聽說

  • off the coast of northern Iceland

    在冰島北部外海

  • that reached 405 years old.

    發現了

  • However, it died in the lab

    405歲的巨蛤。

  • as they were determining its age.

    但是它在科學家在實驗室裡

  • The most interesting discovery of late, I think

    鑑定它的年紀時死掉了。

  • is the so-called immortal jellyfish,

    我想,最有意思的新發現,

  • which has actually been observed in the lab

    是被稱之為燈塔水母的動物,

  • to be able to be able to revert back to the polyp state

    在實驗室裡觀察到

  • after reaching full maturity.

    它在達到完全成熟階段後

  • So that being said,

    能够回復到水螅蟲的狀態。

  • it's highly unlikely that any jellyfish would survive that long in the wild.

    雖然這麼說,

  • And back to the yew here.

    任何一種水母不太可能在自然環境下生存那麼久。

  • So as you can see, it's in a churchyard;

    再回來看紫杉。

  • it's in Scotland. It's behind a protective wall.

    如您所見,它生長在一個教堂的院子裡。

  • And there are actually a number or ancient yews

    在蘇格蘭。有圍牆保護著。

  • in churchyards around the U.K.,

    其實有許多古老的紫杉生長在

  • but if you do the math, you'll remember

    全英國各地的教堂的院子裡,

  • it's actually the yew trees that were there first, then the churches.

    如果你推算一下,不難明白

  • And now down to another part of the world.

    這些古老的紫杉早在教堂建立之前,就已經生長在那裏了。

  • I had the opportunity to travel around the Limpopo Province in South Africa

    現在來看看世界上另一個地方。

  • with an expert in Baobab trees.

    我有幸跟隨一位猴麵包樹的專家

  • And we saw a number of them,

    去了南非的林波波省。

  • and this is most likely the oldest.

    我們看到了很多猴麵包樹,

  • It's around 2,000,

    這一顆很有可能是最老的。

  • and it's called the Sagole Baobab.

    大約有2000歲了,

  • And you know, I think of all of these organisms

    叫做Sagole猴麵包樹。(Sagole:南非北省)

  • as palimpsests.

    我認為這所有的生物

  • They contain thousands of years

    具有多重的意義。

  • of their own histories within themselves,

    它們的內在蘊含了

  • and they also contain records of natural and human events.

    千萬年的生命軌跡,

  • And the Baobabs in particular

    它們也記錄著大自然和人類的歷史事件。

  • are a great example of this.

    尤其是猴麵包樹

  • You can see that this one

    更是極佳的例子。

  • has names carved into its trunk,

    這一顆樹的樹幹上

  • but it also records some natural events.

    刻著許多名字在上面,

  • So the Baobabs, as they get older,

    它同時也記錄著一些自然事件。

  • tend to get pulpy in their centers and hollow out.

    當猴麵包樹年歲漸長時,

  • And this can create

    樹幹中心會變成漿狀的汁液而最後變成空心的。

  • great natural shelters for animals,

    這麼一來它就成為

  • but they've also been appropriated

    動物們極佳的天然棲身所了,

  • for some rather dubious human uses,

    但是它們也被人類

  • including a bar, a prison

    拿來用在一些不太好的用途,

  • and even a toilet inside of a tree.

    空心的樹幹被當作酒吧,監獄

  • And this brings me to another favorite of mine --

    甚至是廁所。

  • I think, because it is just so unusual.

    現在來看一個我最喜愛的—

  • This plant is called the Welwitschia,

    因為它實在是太與眾不同了。

  • and it lives only in parts of coastal Namibia and Angola,

    這個植物叫百歲蘭,

  • where it's uniquely adapted

    它只生長在納米比亞和安哥拉部分海岸地區,

  • to collect moisture from mist coming off the sea.

    它發展出獨特的功能

  • And what's more, it's actually a tree.

    能夠從海上漂來的霧氣收集水分。

  • It's a primitive conifer.

    而且,它其實是一顆樹。

  • You'll notice that it's bearing cones down the center.

    是一種原始的針葉樹。

  • And what looks like two big heaps of leaves,

    你可以在底下中間看到它結了球果。

  • is actually two single leaves

    看起來像堆積成兩大落的葉子呢,

  • that get shredded up

    其實是兩片樹葉

  • by the harsh desert conditions over time.

    因為沙漠嚴峻的氣候

  • And it actually never sheds those leaves,

    經年累月把葉子切割成現在的樣子。

  • so it also bears the distinction

    這些葉子從未脱落過,

  • of having the longest leaves

    所以百歲蘭的特徵就是

  • in the plant kingdom.

    它的樹葉是

  • I spoke to a biologist

    植物界中最長的。

  • at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Capetown

    我請教過開普敦的

  • to ask him

    康斯坦博西國家植物園

  • where he thought this remarkable plant came from,

    的生物學家

  • and his thought was that

    問他這令人驚艷的百歲蘭是從哪裡來的,

  • if you travel around Namibia,

    他的看法是,

  • you see that there are a number of petrified forests,

    如果你周遊納米比亞,

  • and the logs are all --

    你會發現有一些石化林,

  • the logs are all giant coniferous trees,

    石化林的樹木—

  • and yet there's no sign of where they might have come from.

    全都是巨大的針葉樹,

  • So his thought was that

    但是没有任何跡象顯示它們的原生地是哪裡。

  • flooding in the north of Africa

    因此他認為

  • actually brought those coniferous trees down

    千萬年前

  • tens of thousands of years ago,

    非洲北部的洪水帶著這些

  • and what resulted was this remarkable adaptation

    針葉樹的種子流向南方,

  • to this unique desert environment.

    造就了了不起的適應力

  • This is what I think is the most poetic of the oldest living things.

    以存活在獨特的沙漠環境中。

  • This is something called an underground forest.

    我認為這是這些最古老的生物最具詩意的部分。

  • So, I spoke to a botanist at the Pretoria Botanical Garden,

    這是被稱之為地下森林的植物。

  • who explained that certain species of trees

    我問過普利托里亞植物園的植物學家,

  • have adapted to this region.

    他告訴我一些樹種

  • It's bushfelt region,

    已經適應了這個地區。