The oldest living thing, 200,000-year-old giant patches of seagrass, was discovered by scientists in the Mediterranean Sea, according to reports by several international news sites on Tuesday, February 7, 2012.

The seaweed patches weighs 6,000 tons and stretches for about 10 miles. The organism reportedly reproduce asexually and spread very slowly to cover large areas.

Reports say that scientists used DNA sequencing at 40 different sites over a 2,000 mile range from Spain to Cyprus to determine the age of the seaweed patches.

The DNA sequencing showed that the age of the organisms ranged from 12,000 to 200,000-years-old, majority of which are likely around 100,000-years-old.

Professor Carlos Duarte from the University of Western Australia explained that the organisms long life was due to their ability to store nutrients in their long branches. However, due to climate change, Duarte believes that the seagrass is on a decline.

In a statement, Duarte said that “If climate change continues, the outlook for this species is very bad.” He added that “The seagrass in the Mediterranean is already in clear decline due to shoreline construction and declining water quality and this decline has been exacerbated by climate change.”

The previous recorded oldest living thing is a 43,000 year-old Tasmanian plant.

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