Ever wonder what the largest living organism is?
If we are talking about the largest that EVER existed, some people think of the Braciousarus (used to be called a Brontosaurus too).
However it was only 28.7 tons. Amphicoelias was a larger dinosaur at 122 tons.
However Amphicoelias, was still a lightweight!
Many people think about the Blue Whale which is believed to be able to get up to 190 tons, but it still isn't in the weight class of the organism we are talking about.
Some more hints:
1) It is Land dwelling
2) It is currently alive
3) We do not know of any other of its species that is as large
4) It lives in Utah
5) It covers 106 acres
Its name is Pando. Pando is a Quaking Aspen. It has over 40,000 trunks, but only ONE root system. Genetic testing by the University of Michigan shows that each trunk is the same genetically as every other.
Remember Climate change? Well Pando is in an area where the climate isn’t good at all for Quaking Aspen. New England is ideal, but the Western United states can’t support natural seedlings. Pando has not been able to reproduce as far as scientists know for written history. Since it can’t find anyone to reproduce with, instead it just keeps pushing its root system further out and pushes up new stems (which we would see as a trunk).
The average age of Pando’s trunks is 130 years. Pando is kept safe by frequent forest fires, which limit invasion of other types of trees.
Does Pando remind you of anything? It should remind you of Christians.
1 Corinthians 12: 12-13
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
John 15: 5-6
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
So just as Pando is one root system with multiple stems, so we are all stems from the root system of Jesus. As Pando outlasts specific stems (or trunks), the body of Christ outlasts the loss of individual members, in this life. With Pando, only the stems are visible. As Christians, we are the visible parts that others first come to know about Jesus. We need to make sure we do our best to expand the body of Christ as Pando continues to push out its root system.
© Vivian P. Kirkpatrick, 2014