The Oldest Things in the Universe: From Ancient Organisms to Human Creations

TLDR From the estimated 13.787 billion-year-old universe to the 4,800-year-old Methuselah tree, this podcast explores the oldest things in the universe, including ancient organisms, human constructions, and technological creations. Discover the fascinating history and longevity of these remarkable entities.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The oldest thing in the universe is estimated to be approximately 13.787 billion years old.
02:19 New discoveries from the James Webb telescope have challenged the accepted age of the universe, with some astrophysicists now estimating it to be as old as 26.7 billion years, almost twice as old as previously thought.
04:13 Some organisms, like colonial lifeforms such as seagrass and aspen trees, can be incredibly old, with estimates placing their age at hundreds of thousands of years, while single organisms like Antarctic volcano sponges also have a slow rate of growth and can be considered among the oldest living things.
06:05 The Methuselah tree in the Great Basin is believed to be 4,800 years old, while the Jayashree Mahabodhi tree in Sri Lanka, planted approximately 2,300 years ago, is the oldest tree whose age can be verified because it was planted by humans.
07:58 The oldest hominid fossil, Sehalanthropus chadensis, is approximately 7 million years old, while the oldest stone tools date back about 3.5 million years and the oldest examples of human art date back about 73,000 years.
09:49 The oldest human construction is Golbeki Tempi in Turkey, dating back 11,500 years, the oldest walled city is Jericho, founded around 9,000 years ago, the oldest written human language comes from the Kish tablet in Mesopotamia, about 5,300 years old, the oldest wooden building is the Haruji Temple in Japan, first built in 607 and still standing today, the oldest printing presses are at the Museum Plantain Mortice in Belgium, dating back to around 1600, the oldest operating university is the University of Bologna, established in 1180, and the oldest company is the Kongogumi Construction Company in Japan, founded in 574.
11:36 The longest functioning light bulb has been operating since 1901, the oldest functioning computer is the Harwell Computer built in 1952, and the world's oldest podcast is Open Source, which began in 2003 and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Categories: History Education

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