Longevity myths include generic traditions about supercentenarian human longevity, as well as incompletely validated specific longevity claims, such as those lacking birth or death dates or arising from within a generic tradition. Traditions also include "diets, drugs, alchemy, physical practices, and certainly also mental states" that have been believed to confer greater human longevity, especially in Oriental culture.
An essay appearing in many editions of Guinness World Records in the 1980s lists four categories of recent claims: "In late life, very old people often tend to advance their ages at the rate of about 17 years per decade .... Several celebrated super-centenarians (over 110 years) are believed to have been double lives (father and son, relations with the same names or successive bearers of a title) .... A number of instances have been commercially sponsored, while a fourth category of recent claims are those made for political ends ...." Guinness implies other (historical) categories of longevity traditions to exist as well. Actuary Walter G. Bowerman states that longevity assertions originate mainly in remote, underdeveloped regions, among illiterate peoples, evidenced by nothing more than family testimony.
- See also Category:Longevity claims.
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