Just how old are Earth's oldest features?

Appalachian Mountains
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The Earth's mountains, rivers, animals and rocks have been around for millions or billions of years. Do you know which ones have been around the longest?

Question 1 of 11

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Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta
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Some of the oldest animals in the world live in the ocean. The oldest one to have ever lived (that we know of) was 507 years old. What was it?

Ming, an ocean quahog from the species Arctica islandica, was found on a seabed near Iceland by scientists in 2006. To determine its age, scientists counted the rings on its shell, similar to counting the rings in a tree trunk.

Question 2 of 11

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Big, old tree
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Which of these trees is the oldest?

At 4,841 years old, Methuselah is one of two of the oldest known non-clonal trees on Earth. It's located in Inyo National Forest in the White Mountains of California, but the exact location is kept secret to protect the tree.

Question 3 of 11

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Australia rock formation
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The oldest rock fragment in the world is a tiny zircon crystal that dates back about 4.4 billion years. Where was it found?

The zircon, which is one of the toughest materials on the planet, was found in Australia's Jack Hills range.

Question 4 of 11

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Cake with candle blown out
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The oldest human on record was a woman who lived to the age of 122 years, 164 days. Where was she from?

Apparently French women don't get fat and they also live to a ripe old age. Jeanne Calment (1875–1997) lived in Arles, France, for her entire life, even outliving a grandchild by several decades.

Question 5 of 11

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Stromatolites of cyanobacteria on a beach in Western Australia
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​The oldest known fossils are cyanobacteria found in rocks in western Australia. Those fossils date back how many years?

According to the University of California Museum of Paleontology, the cyanobacteria, which are aquatic and photosynthetic, are 3.5 billion years old — which is interesting, since the oldest rocks on Earth are only slightly older.

Question 6 of 11

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Appalachian Mountains
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The oldest mountain range in the world is believed to be the:

According to the National Parks Service, many scientists say the Appalachian Mountains in eastern North America are the oldest mountains on the planet, having formed roughly 480 million years ago.

Question 7 of 11

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Where can you find the oldest oceanic crust on the planet?

A piece of crust in the Mediterranean Sea was recently determined to be as much as 340 million years old, which is impressive because most of the Earth's crust found in the ocean dates back only 200 million years. The Christian Science Monitor reports that researchers used magnetic sensing equipment to look through several miles of sediment on the floor of the Mediterranean to see the crust underneath.

Question 8 of 11

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Pool of water in a mountain
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The oldest water in the world is under Canada and is said to be bigger than all of Earth's rivers, swamps and lakes combined. How old is it?

Geologists estimate the highly salty ancient water to be 2.7 billion years old and that it may take up as many as 2.5 million cubic miles in depth and width.

Question 9 of 11

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Human jaw fossil
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The oldest human fossil was found in Ethiopia in 2013. How old is the jaw bone?

The lower jaw bone was found in the Afar region of Ethiopia and puts the first members of the human genus Homo there about half a million years earlier than previously thought, National Geographic reports.

Question 10 of 11

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Volcano erupting at night
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Which is the world's oldest active volcano?

Mount Etna is thought to be the world's oldest active volcano with eruptions dating back to at least 1500 B.C. Around 200 eruptions have been recorded, making it the most active volcano in Europe.

Question 11 of 11

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River
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The age of a river can be difficult to determine, but the oldest river in the world is thought to be:

The Finke River, according to The Australian newspaper, dates back about 340 million years, even before the time of dinosaurs.

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Appalachian Mountains
Photo: Dave Allen Photography/Shutterstock
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