National forest lands are home to some of the world’s largest living organisms, and the Smithsonian wants to help you visit and understand these biological wonders.
My go-see list includes the Pando Clone on the Fishlake National Forest in Utah, and it comes with an asterisk that says “in the fall when after the colors change.”
That’s because the Pando, a Latin word meaning “I spread,” is an aspen clone that grew from a single seed, then spread by sending up shoots from its ever-expanding root system.
The Pando now covers 106 acres, with 40,000 trees, and as a single organism weighs an estimated 13 million pounds. You’ll find it about a mile southwest of Fish Lake on Utah State Highway 25.
But there are, of course, many other ginormous living organisms on the planet, so you’ll want to visit Smithsonian.org as this link to learn about a few of the others.
And we’d love to hear about your finds as well. Just comment on this story, and we’ll expand the list with your help. Happy travels!