Staff October 28, 2016

Did You Know? October 2016
Photos: iStock unless otherwise noted.

Did you know: that there’s another “oldest tree”? This one is a Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) living in Greece, which is claimed to be Europe’s oldest living thing, clocking in at 1,075 years old. (Wait, what? Isn’t Scandinavia part of Europe? We may have to duke this out with the Scandinavians, who claim a tree in the Swedish province of Dalarna is nearly 9,560 years old.).

Continuing: The tree’s rings were counted by Swedish dendrochronologist (look it up) Paul J. Krusic, confirming the estimate of 1,075 years. Discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Stockholm (aha!), the University of Mainz and the University of Arizona, the tree lives in the Pindos mountains and is named Adonis, after the Greek god of beauty. According to the BBC, which reported on this discovery, the “oldest cloned tree” in Europe is our friend in Sweden; a cloned yew is Perthshire is said to be the oldest in the U.K. at about 5,000 years old; and the bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva) in California’s White Mountains take the gold as the longest living trees in the world — that’s according to Guinness World Records.

Photo: NASA

Did you know: that July was deemed the hottest month on record — ever? Not just this year; not just this decade. Ever. (Well, that’s according to records that go back to 1880. We don’t have figures for pre- and post-Ice Age.) According to NASA’s Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index, which lists recorded temperatures month by month back to 1880, July 2016 tops the list in a year in which, so far, every month has been recorded hot. In NASA’s record, that streak extends back to October 2015, the first month in its data set that was more than 1° C hotter than average.

But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has records that state the streak of hottest months goes back to May 2015, marking the longest such streak in the agency’s 137 years of record keeping. Says NOAA: “July 2016 marks the 40th consecutive July with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average.”

Did you know: that even Mental Floss geeks are interested in gardens? It’s true. In late August, the magazine’s daily newsletter included a story that highlights 10 of the world’s most beautiful public gardens, complete with enticing photos. Eye candy to be sure, but here’s the real takeaway: We can find would-be green industry groupies anywhere. According to the magazine’s demographics report, Mental Floss readers are split almost evenly between genders — 51 percent female to 49 percent male — and the primary age group is 25 to 34, with those 35 to 44 running a very close second. Fifty percent of readers have a household income of less than $50K; 30 percent earn $50K to $100K.

Are they interested in plants? Yes!

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