3000 BC was a good year for planet Earth- pottery and hieroglyphics were invented, the city of Troy was founded, construction commenced on Stonehenge, and the world's oldest tree that's still living today germinated. That makes it an ancient 5064 years old! Think about all the things the tree has seen! Really, what hasn't it seen?

world's oldest tree ancient bristlecone pine
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world's oldest tree ancient bristlecone pine
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The tree is located with other ancient bristlecone pines in the Methuselah Grove of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in Inyo National Forest. That's a lot of trees. The Methuselah Grove got its name from what was previously the oldest tree in the world, named for the Biblical figure Methuselah, who lived to be 900 years old, which is still like, toddler-age compared to the tree. 

world's oldest tree ancient bristlecone pine
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world's oldest tree ancient bristlecone pine
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Before Methusela and Methusela's older brother were discovered, there was another ancient tree who people suspected was just as old, if not older-- its name was Prometheus. Unfortunately, Prometheus is no longer standing because it was cut down in a freak accident. A scientist was trying to get a sample of the tree's core to date it, and got his tree-coring instrument stuck in the trunk. A ranger helped him cut it down...and that's when they realized that they were dealing with a really, really old tree-- perhaps the world's oldest. You can see the stump of where Prometheus once stood-- contrary to popular thought, the oldest trees don't always have the most rings in their cross sections, so it's easy to see why the scientist and the ranger just cut the damaged tree down. The stump, and all the trees in the forest for that matter, aren't nearly as wide or tall as the ones at Redwood National and State Parks. We now know that Prometheus isn't the oldest...but we don't know exactly where the oldest tree is.

world's oldest tree ancient bristlecone pine
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world's oldest tree ancient bristlecone pine
Shutterstock

The precise location of Methuselah and the current oldest tree are a secret to protect them from vandals and ne'er-do-wells, but they're somewhere inside the grove. You can walk amongst the grizzled, twisted trees (honestly, they bear a striking resemblance to an old human being, sort of gnarled and bare and all) and speculate which one might very well be the world's oldest.