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走进地球最大的生物!

Inside the Largest Living Thing On Earth!

Picture the largest things that have ever lived on our planet.
想象一下我们星球上曾经生活过的最大的生物
Giant sauropod dinosaurs.
巨型蜥脚类恐龙
Towering sequoias like General Sherman.
高耸的美洲杉 比如雪曼将军树
Or even the mighty blue whale.
亦或是巨大的蓝鲸
But none of these can claim the record
但这些都不能称为
for the biggest heaviest thing ever.
有史以来体重最大的生物的记录
The largest species on Earth?
地球上最大的物种?
You’re in it.
你已经身处其中了
These are quaking aspens.
这些是颤杨
They’re famous for the beauty of their fall leaves and the sound
它们以秋天美丽的树叶
that those leaves make in the wind when millions of them shake.
以及数百万片树叶在风中摇晃发出的声音而闻名
Huh, such a peaceful sound.
哈 多么恬静的声音
Their bark is famous too. It’s white.
它们的树皮也很出名 是白色的
That’s because its living tissue
那是因为它的活组织
is actually capable of photosynthesis
实际上能够在冬天进行光合作用
during winter even when the tree has lost all its leaves.
即使树木的叶子已经全部掉落
Aspens hold a ton of records among trees.
颤杨在树木一类当中保持着大量的记录
They’re the most widely distributed tree in North America,
它们是北美分布最广泛的树木
the second most widely distributed tree in the world.
是世界分布第二广泛的树木
They grow everywhere,
它们生长在世界各地
from Canada to Mexico,
从加拿大到墨西哥
from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
从大西洋到太平洋
You’re probably asking yourself, why should I care about a tree?
你可能要问了 我干嘛要关心一棵树?
Well, it’s pretty unbelievable.
好吧 这真的非常不可思议
But members of this species are the largest organism on Earth.
但这个物种的成员是地球上最大的生物
How could that possibly be true?
这怎么可能是真的呢?
I mean, aspens are pretty average-looking trees of tens of meters high.
我的意思是 颤杨是几十米高 看起来很普通的树
They don’t (have) particularly thick trunks like a sequoia or a redwood.
它们没有像红杉或红木那样粗壮的树干
How could any aspen be the largest organism on Earth?
颤杨怎么可能成为地球上最大的生物?
Well, because of what you can’t see.
好吧 就凭你看不到的东西
Groups of aspens like these are connected underground
像这样的颤杨群体在地底下
by a giant shared root system.
通过庞大的共享根系连接起来
That root system can even exchange water and nutrients among these individuals.
根系甚至可以在这些个体间彼此交换水和营养
Groups of aspens like these connected underground,
像这样的颤杨群体在地下连接
well, that makes them one giant organism.
这使它们成为一个巨大的生物
They’re like different limbs of the same body.
它们就像同一个身体的不同部位
Each trunk that you can see
你能看到的每一个树干
is a genetically identical clone of the trunks around it.
都是周围相同基因的树干的克隆体
Individuals appear on the surface.
颤杨个体生长在地面上
But one giant connected organism underneath.
但地底下是一个巨大的连接的生物体
A giant aspen clone in Utah
犹他州的一棵巨型颤杨克隆群体
is the current title holder for world’s largest organism.
目前享有世界上最大生物的头衔
Its name is Pando.
它的名字是“潘多”
The name Pando means “I spread out” in Latin.
在拉丁语中 Pando意味着“伸展”
And the name fits.
的确名副其实
It covers an area about the size of 100 football fields.
它所覆盖的面积大概有100个足球场那样大
It’s estimated to have more than 40,000 stems,
据估计 它有超过40000个茎
and it’s older than the last Ice Age.
并且比上一个冰河纪更古老
It’s 100 times heavier than the biggest dinosaurs,
它比最大的恐龙重100倍
heavier than 30 blue whales, the largest animals to ever live.
它比30头蓝鲸重 蓝鲸已经是有史以来最重的动物了
And more than triple that of the largest giant sequoia Genaral Sherman.
是最大的巨型美洲杉雪曼将军树三倍多重
Well, Pando is just the biggest aspen clone that we know of.
潘多是我们目前所知的最大的颤杨克隆群体
This is…is not Pando.
这……这不是潘多
Where I’m standing right now in western Colorado,
我现在站在科罗拉多州的西部
this is the largest continuous distribution of aspen in North America.
这里是北美最大的颤杨林分布区
And researchers think that there might be a clone
研究人员认为 这里可能有一个
even bigger than Pando somewhere out here.
比潘多还要大的克隆群体
The hard part is finding them.
难的是找到它们
So how do these aspens grow to be so big?
那么 这些颤杨是如何长这么大的?
Well, because of the special way that they grow.
这在于它们特殊的生长方式
Most plants have male and female parts on the same plant.
许多植物是雌雄同体的
But aspen clones are either all male or all female.
但是颤杨的克隆群体要不都是雄性亦或是相反
And they still, you know, exchange pollen, make seeds,
并且它们仍然 你知道的 交换花粉 传播种子
which flow off every spring in this cute little cottony fluffs.
每年春天 这些种子会在这个可爱的小棉絮中流出
A long long long time ago,
在很久很久以前
before humans even set foot in North America,
甚至在人类踏入北美前
one of those seeds fell right here.
其中一颗种子落在了这里
And it sprouted, became a seedling,
它发芽了 变成了一棵幼苗
and it chased the sun’s light up to become a giant aspen.
它汲取着阳光 变成了一棵巨大的颤杨
But then, that treated something unexpected.
但后来 发生了一些意想不到的事情
Instead of making a new baby tree using seeds,
它不是通过种子生长出新的树苗
it shot its roots outward, sending new stems up through the soil,
而是向外发散它的根 通过土壤向上伸展出新的茎
that group into new trunks, chasing the sun’s light upward.
这些茎组成新的树干 汲取着阳光向上生长
And that process repeated over and over, over centuries and millennia,
这个过程一直重复着 重复了数百上千年
to become this.
从而变成了这样
In this way of growing,
这样的生长方式
well, it gives aspens a big advantage in this kind of environment.
给了颤杨在这种环境下存活的优势
Why would a tree grow like this?
为什么一棵树会像这样子生长?
Well, like everything that evolves, aspens have adapted to their environment.
就像所有进化的东西一样 颤杨已经适应了它们的环境
This is a landscape shaped by fire.
这是一个经历过火灾的地貌
So aspens have evolved to succeed in these destructive conditions.
颤杨在这种破坏性的条件下顺利进化
Imagine a wild fire comes through behind me.
想象一下 一场山火在我身后燃烧
Well, aspens have a very thin bark.
颤杨有着非常薄的树皮
They don’t have that woody armor that other trees have.
它们没有其他树木所具有的木质保护层
So their sap basically boils from the inside and they die.
所以当它们的树汁差不多达到沸点后 它们就无法存活了
But the root structure underneath the ground, that survives.
但是地底下的根部结构能够存活
And when all the other trees have been cleared out,
当其他所有的树木都被清除
they shoot up through the soil by the hundreds even thousands,
它们会从土壤中长出成百上千棵树
and they completely take over.
然后完全占领其他树木的位置
Same with avalanches even disease.
这种生长状况同遭遇雪崩甚至疾病时一样
Anything that disrupts this environment,
任何东西破坏这种环境时
and aspens are uniquely adapted to spring back and take over.
颤杨都能经过独特的适应做到反弹恢复并占领
Huge aspens like these are incredibly old.
像这样的巨型颤杨树非常古老
How old is a tougher question though.
不过 年龄却成了一个棘手的问题
We can’t read the rings to know how old these aspens are.
我们无法通过读取年轮来得知这些颤杨的年龄
Any individual trunk might be 60 to 120 years old.
任何单个树干的年龄可能为60至120岁
But these trunks are always dying
但这些树干正在死亡
and being replaced by younger new ones.
被更年轻的树干所取代
Just like the leaves falling every autumn,
就像是每年秋天凋落的叶子
the trunks themselves return to the soil to feed the next generation.
树干再回到土壤中继续养育下一代
History can give some clues to aspen’s age.
历史可以为颤杨的年龄提供一些线索
Much of the area that aspens love to grow in today
颤杨如今喜欢生长的大部分区域
was covered by ice sheets during the last Ice Age.
在上个冰河纪就被冰原所覆盖了
So in those areas, aspens can only be as old as
因此 在这些地区的颤杨只可能
when the last ice sheets disappear.
和最后一块冰原消失的时间一样古老
But aspens in areas like these
但是像这些地区的颤杨
were never covered by that ice and could be much older.
从未被冰覆盖过 而且可能更古老
So aspens can grow to be the biggest organism on Earth,
因此 颤杨可以成为地球上最大的生物
because of how old they are,
因为它们的年龄
because of where they grow,
因为它们生长的地方
and because self-cloning gives them a huge advantage over other trees.
并且因为自我克隆 使它们比其他树木具有更大的优势
While researchers estimate no individual trunk
虽然研究人员估计没有一个单个的树干
is more than a couple centuries old,
有着超过几个世纪的历史
these giant clones could be tens of thousands of
但这些巨大的克隆群体可能有着数万年
or hundreds of thousands of years old.
或数十万年的历史
Their stems dying and reborn in a life cycle
它们的茎在生命周期中死亡又重生
that renders them essentially immortal.
使它们基本上不朽
It’s possible that aspens only ever die
颤杨只可能因
thanks to disease or extreme changes to their environment.
疾病或极端的环境变化而死亡
And that’s happening more and more.
这种情况正越来越多的发生着
Aspens like these have survived countless challenges in the centuries,
像这样的颤杨在几个世纪以来
even millennia that they’ve been here.
甚至几千年来都经历了无数的挑战
But we are presenting them with new ones.
但我们正在向它们呈现新的环境
For one thing, the fires that aspens depend on to thrive.
一方面 让颤杨茁壮成长的山火
Well, we’re not letting them burn.
我们并没有让它们烧起来
We throw ecosystems completely out of whack
我们完全把生态系统破坏了
so that grazing animals like cows and deer,
以至于放牧的动物们 如奶牛和鹿
well, they come in and eat all of these soft new shoots.
它们进了树林并吃掉了这些柔软的新芽
And these young aspens never turn into old ones.
这些年轻的颤杨永远不会变成老颤杨
As a result, the giants like Pando are shrinking.
结果 像潘多这样巨大的颤杨正在减少
But there’s one threat that tops all of that–climate change.
但有一个威胁是最重要的——气候变化
Maybe you’ve heard of it.
或许你已经听说过了
And as areas like this,
随着像这样的地区
get warmer and drier, it’s really bad news for these aspens.
变得越来越温暖和干燥 这对这些颤杨来说真的是一个坏消息
Now the way the aspens grow,
颤杨现在的生长方式
by spreading their roots out through the ground,
是通过穿过地面来散布它们的根
that means they can actually move.
这意味着 它们实际上可以移动
They can move up and down these mountains and valleys
它们可以游走在这些山脉和山谷之间
to chase their ideal climate conditions.
来寻找适合它们的理想的气候环境
But if the climate changes too quickly,
但如果气候变化得太快
they might not be able to outrun it.
它们的速度可能无法超越气候变化的速度
And as it gets warmer and drier,
随着天气变暖 变干燥
these trees have to turn down their photosynthesis,
这些树木不得不降低光合作用
while turning up their metabolism.
同时加快新陈代谢
It’s like being on a treadmill and holding your breath.
这就像你在跑步机上屏住呼吸一样
It’s not a fun time.
这并不有趣
As a result, researchers have seen
结果 研究人员看到
ancient aspen stands die just like that.
古老的颤杨就这样死去
They call it Sudden Aspen Death Syndrome or SAD.
他们称之为颤杨猝死综合症或SAD
It is very sad.
这让人伤心
These are ancient species, ancient stands, ancient giants.
这些是古老的物种 古老的士兵 古老的巨人
We’re throwing them a challenge
我们向它们发起了一个挑战
that they’ve never seen before in their entire existence.
这是它们从未见过的挑战
Will they be able to survive?
它们能够存活下来吗?
We just don’t know.
我们还不知道
But story of Earth’s largest species is a story of survival,
但地球上最大的物种的故事是一个生存的故事
a story of resilience in the face of destruction and challenges.
一个关于面对破坏和挑战时适应性的故事
And in this new changing world that’s built by our hands,
在这个由我们亲手建造的不断变化的新世界中
I hope that story of survival continues.
我希望这个关于生存的故事能够继续下去
I think that by understanding these stories and these species,
我认为 通过了解这些故事和这些物种
how they got to be the way that they are,
它们是如何成为现在这样的
it gives us another reason to work hard to save them,
给了我们另一个努力拯救它们的理由
so that the next person that walks through this giant,
这样的话 下一个穿过这片巨大物种的人
10 years, 100 years, 1,000 years from now,
在10年 100年 1000年以后
can learn that story too.
也可以了解到这个故事
Stay curious.
保持好奇心
And before you go,
在你关掉这个视频前
I want to tell you about a new documentary series
我想告诉你一部新的纪录片系列
on PBS voices–“American Veteran: Keep it Close”.
就是PBS之声的《美国退伍军人:保持亲密关系》
Each episode tells the story of U.S. millitary vederan,
每一集都讲述了美国退伍军人的故事
and a special object that they have from their time in service.
以及他们从服役期间就拥有的特殊物品
Maybe a vial of lip gloss, a small stone, even a microphone.
也许是一小瓶唇彩 一块小石头 甚至是一个麦克风
And how these momentos help keep them grounded through extreme circumstances.
以及这些时光如何帮助他们 在极端环境下保持脚踏实地
Check it out in the link down in our description,
请在我们下面所讲的链接中进行查看
and let them know that it’s okay to be smart as you.
并让他们通过你知道《It’s Okay To Be Smart》
Hey guys, I’m not in the forest right now,
嗨兄弟们 我现在不在森林中了
but I’m here
但是我在这儿
to say thank you to everyone who supports the show on Patreon.
感谢所有在Patreon上支持该节目的人
We could not make episodes like this one without your support.
如果没有你们的支持 我们无法做出像这样的视频
Getting to go to these beautiful places
去到这些美丽的地方
and bring you incredible stories like these.
并带来像这样的令人难以置信的故事
If you want to know more about
如果你想了解更多关于
how you can support the show,
如何支持该节目的信息
visit the link down in the description,
请访问以下说明中的链接
and we’ll see you in the next video.
我们将在下一个视频中与你见面
How old is it though?
不过它有多老了?
-Does it look cool at all? -Yes.
-它看起来很酷吗? -是的

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译制信息
视频概述

世界上最大的生物是什么呢?恐龙?蓝鲸?还是红杉?你一定想不到竟然是它!

听录译者

Hop

翻译译者

Pupu喵

审核员

审核员VS

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJuVm5p4TI0

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