Through the ages

tall-treeIn 1800 BC, Babylon was the biggest city in the world. Queen Sobekneferu of Egypt died, heralding the start of the 13th and 14th Dynasties. In India, the Iron Age got underway. And on the western slope of what is now known as the Sierra Nevadas in California, USA, a sequoia seed germinated in a forest and pushed its way into the sunlight. Ages have come and gone since then: great cities have risen and crumbled, religions have swept across continents, wars have devastated communities and science has unlocked many of our greatest mysteries.

And that little sequoia plant has continued to grow, into a giant tree.

Silent, strong, made powerful with the protection of the forest all around it. Incredibly, it is still growing today, 3200 years later! Untouched by the passing of great civilisations, it is one of the biggest trees in the world, at more than 75 metres (247 feet) high.

And until recently, it had never been photographed in its entirety: there just wasn't a camera lens big enough. The little clip below shows this stunning, ancient tree in a snow-storm, being photographed by National Geographic photographers and National Park scientists.

This tree has looked over us for more than three thousand years. Now, at last, we can look over it.