The world’s largest organism is a tree known as the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). The giant sequoia is native to California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and is known for its enormous size and long lifespan. The largest giant sequoia on record is called General Sherman, which is over 275 feet tall and has a trunk diameter of over 36 feet at its base.
While the giant sequoia is not the tallest tree on Earth (that title belongs to the coast redwood), it is the largest in terms of total volume. A mature giant sequoia can weigh over 2.7 million pounds and have a trunk that is wider than a city street.
Giant sequoias are also some of the longest-lived organisms on Earth, with some individuals living for over 3,000 years. They are adapted to thrive in the dry, fire-prone forests of the Sierra Nevada and have thick bark that protects them from flames.
The giant sequoia is an iconic species that is highly valued for its ecological, cultural, and aesthetic importance. It provides habitat for a variety of wildlife and is a popular destination for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. However, giant sequoias are also threatened by a range of factors, including climate change, logging, and wildfire. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and restore giant sequoia forests and ensure their long-term survival.