Has the Blob escaped its arctic prison and somehow made its way to the Andes Mountains, of Chile? You would think so, based on the some pictures showing up on Robert Krulwich’s Krulwich Wonders blog on NPR. Turns out, though, that what is shown are actually a form of plant-life not seen anywhere else in the world.

In Spanish it’s called Ilareta, and it’s a member of the Apiaceae family, which makes it a cousin to parsley, carrots and fennel. But being a desert plant, high up in Chile’s extraordinarily dry Atacama, it grows very, very slowly — a little over a centimeter a year.

Think about that. If you asked one of these plants, “What did you do during the 20th century?” it would answer, “I grew a meter bigger.” At that rate, plants rising to shoulder height (covering yards of ground, lump after lump) must be really, really old. In fact, some of them are older than the Giant Sequoias of California, older than towering coast redwoods. In Chile, many of them go back 3,000 years — well before the Golden Age of Ancient Greece.

OK, so maybe it is not a Blob, but it still is pretty interesting. And it may be the closest you’ll get to one without any of the worry of getting close to a blob! Road trip, anyone?