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InvisiblelIllIIIllIlIIlIlIIllIllIIl
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ooh, its so big
    #3880991 - 03/07/05 02:34 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

This has been bugging me a bit.

You have probably heard about "the world's largest organism". Depending on who's telling the story it is either an aspen forest with connected roots, a bush in australia that grows in a giant ring, or even a kind of fungus.

Now which of these three is actually the biggest? Or is is something else?


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Invisiblederx
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: lIllIIIllIlIIlIlIIllIllIIl]
    #3881707 - 03/07/05 08:16 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

i havent heard the first two, only the "humungus fungus"

"The discovery of the world's largest fungus - up to 8,500 years old and carperting nearly 10 square kilometres of forest floor"


http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:is73Y...lient=firefox-a


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Offlinelackobreath
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: derx]
    #3881947 - 03/07/05 11:19 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Some of the coral reefs are also pretty large.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: lackobreath]
    #3884192 - 03/07/05 09:30 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I don't think a coral reef counts, because it's composed of a variety of different organisms.

With the enormous underground mycelial culture, it's all the same genetics throughout.


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InvisiblelIllIIIllIlIIlIlIIllIllIIl
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: Phluck]
    #3887220 - 03/08/05 02:34 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

The biggest fungus derx, maybe not the biggest living organism.

On the show "Killer Instinct" (a nature show like Crocodile Hunter, with a much much less annoying host) they said there is a shrub there that slowly grows in a ring, and that it was the largest living thing on the planet.

I also remember reading on BBC an article where a forest was tested genetically and that in fact it was one giant tree with interconnecting roots, and that it was the largest organism on the planet.

All three of these say that they are the biggest, but which one is it?? I'm going to check into this a bit more and post back here.


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: lIllIIIllIlIIlIlIIllIllIIl]
    #3887530 - 03/08/05 03:44 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I think the definition of 'organism' comes into question


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Invisiblefunkymonk
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3890671 - 03/09/05 02:41 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

or?gan?ism (?rg-nzm)
n.

1. An individual form of life, such as a plant, animal, bacterium, protist, or fungus; a body made up of organs, organelles, or other parts that work together to carry on the various processes of life.
2. A system regarded as analogous in its structure or functions to a living body: the social organism.


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: funkymonk]
    #3892419 - 03/09/05 01:15 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

well I'm glad that's settled

edit: so I guess, in order to have a meaningful conversation about this, we just assume that everyone is using the same definition as we are


Edited by Zekebomb (03/09/05 01:17 PM)


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OfflineRedNucleus
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: lIllIIIllIlIIlIlIIllIllIIl]
    #3892862 - 03/09/05 03:34 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

stegosaurus, hands down


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: funkymonk]
    #3897318 - 03/10/05 01:26 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

2. A system regarded as analogous in its structure or functions to a living body: the social organism.

so can the entire earth be considered an organism? because that'd be the biggest one then. that's my vote.


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Offlinediscoabe
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3909614 - 03/13/05 12:21 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

I think the real problem with the biggest comes from the word "biggest" Does that me mass, area, volume?


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InvisibleA3eyedfish
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: discoabe]
    #3913027 - 03/13/05 09:18 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

yeah, like is it the area that it covers in square miles, or the weight of the organism as a whole?


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Invisiblefunkymonk
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3916382 - 03/14/05 02:54 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

I wouldn't consider the earth a organism. It would be in it's own class as a Organism Host.


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InvisiblelIllIIIllIlIIlIlIIllIllIIl
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: funkymonk]
    #3916644 - 03/14/05 04:24 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

So far it seems in terms of volume and mass the interconnected forest is the biggest. The australian ring bush maybe covers the most area. The fungus is the biggest fungus, but not the biggest organism. I'll try to guesstimate everything later.


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Invisiblederx
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: lIllIIIllIlIIlIlIIllIllIIl]
    #3921015 - 03/15/05 02:51 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

you're not showing the specs you're using to make the decisions you've made, or the sources.


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better living through chemistry

OVERGROW the government!!

it's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom, ok, thats what it is.


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InvisiblelIllIIIllIlIIlIlIIllIllIIl
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Re: ooh, its so big [Re: derx]
    #3921378 - 03/15/05 04:32 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

1. Larrea tridentata - Creosote bush
area - very large
mass - small, since it's a bush
age - 7500 to 11000 years


As the centre of this bush dies, it grows outward in a ring. I saw a TV show called Killer Instinct where it said it was the world's largest organism (I might be wrong about this). Maybe one of the word's largest organisms but not the largest. It is also said that although a "ring" may be genitically identical, the roots probably aren't all connected so it's a bit fuzzy whether a super-giant ring can be considered to be a single organism.

My opinion - large but not the largest

2. Populus tremuloides - Tembling poplar/aspen
area - 106 acres
mass - 6500 tons
age - around 10000 years


This tree propagates through asexual suckering. Even notice how nearby poplars put shoots into your lawn? Same thing. So over a long period of time a single interconnected poplar stand takes over a large area, choking out all competitors. Again there is an issue here whether all the trees are actually connected, although they are genetically identical.

My opinion - probably the worlds second largest organism

3. Armillaria gallica - Tree root fungus
area - Not sure but at least 100 acres
mass - 9500 tons
age - at least 1500 years


This fungus grows underground and attacks tree roots. It is in reality the worlds largest organism. I was wrong about this because I didn't have any figures on how massive it really is. It is also quite possible that there are other undiscovered species even larger than this.

My opinion - Yes the fungus is probably the biggest.


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