Longevity myths

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Jurōjin, the Japanese god of longevity, one of the Seven Lucky Gods

Longevity myths are traditions about long-lived people (generally supercentenarians), either as individuals or groups of people, and practices that have been believed to confer longevity, but which current scientific evidence does not support, nor the reasons for the claims.[1][2] While literal interpretations of such myths may appear to indicate extraordinarily long lifespans, many scholars[3] believe such figures may be the result of incorrect translations of number systems through various languages, coupled along with the cultural and symbolic significance of certain numbers.

The phrase "longevity tradition" may include "purifications, rituals, longevity practices, meditations, and alchemy"[4] that have been believed to confer greater human longevity, especially in Chinese Culture.[1][2]

Modern science indicates various ways in which genetics, diet, and lifestyle affect human longevity. It also allows us to determine the age of human remains with a fair degree of precision.

Outside of mythology, the record for the maximum verified lifespan in the modern world is 122+12 years for women (Jeanne Calment) and 116 years for men (Jiroemon Kimura). Some scientists estimate that in case of the most ideal conditions people can live up to 127 years.[5][6] This does not exclude the theoretical possibility that in the case of a fortunate combination of mutations there could be a person who lives longer. Though the lifespan of humans is one of the longest in nature, there are animals that live longer. For example, some individuals of the Galapagos tortoise are able to live more than 175 years,[7] and some individuals of the bowhead whale more than 200 years.[8] Some scientists cautiously suggest that the human body can have sufficient resources to live up to 150 years.[9][10]

Extreme longevity claims in religion

Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)

Biblical longevity
Name Masoretic Age Septuagint Age
Methuselah 969 969
Jared 962 962
Noah 950 950
Adam 930 930
Seth 912 912
Kenan 910 910
Enos 905 905
Mahalalel 895 895
Lamech 777 753
Shem 600 600
Eber 464 404
Cainan 460
Arpachshad 438 465
Salah 433 466
Enoch 365 365
Peleg 239 339
Reu 239 339
Serug 230 330
Job 210? 210?
Terah 205 205
Isaac 180 180
Abraham 175 175
Nahor 148 304
Jacob 147 147
Esau 147? 147?
Ishmael 137 137
Levi 137 137
Amram 137 137
Kohath 133 133
Laban 130+ 130+
Deborah 130+ 130+
Jehoiada 130 130
Sarah 127 127
Miriam 125+ 125+
Aaron 123 123
Rebecca 120+ 120+
Moses 120 120
Joseph 110 110
Joshua 110 110

Several parts of the Hebrew Bible, including the Torah, Joshua, Job, and Chronicles, mention individuals with very long lifespans, up to the 969 years of Methuselah.

Some apologists explain these extreme ages as ancient mistranslations that converted the word "month" to "year", mistaking lunar cycles for solar ones: this would turn an age of 969 years into a more reasonable 969 lunar months, or about 78.3 solar years.[11]

Donald Etz says that the Genesis 5 numbers were multiplied by ten by a later editor.[12] These interpretations introduce an inconsistency: it would mean that the ages of the first nine patriarchs at fatherhood, ranging from 62 to 230 years in the manuscripts, would then be transformed into an implausible range such as 5 to 18+12 years.[13] Others say that the first list, of only 10 names for 1,656 years, may contain generational gaps, which would have been represented by the lengthy lifetimes attributed to the patriarchs.[14] Nineteenth-century critic Vincent Goehlert suggests the lifetimes "represented epochs merely, to which were given the names of the personages especially prominent in such epochs, who, in consequence of their comparatively long lives, were able to acquire an exalted influence".[15]

Those biblical scholars that teach literal interpretation give explanations for the advanced ages of the early patriarchs. In one view, man was originally to have everlasting life, but as sin was introduced into the world by Adam,[16] its influence became greater with each generation and God progressively shortened man's life.[17] In a second view, before Noah's flood, a "firmament" over the earth (Genesis 1:6–8) contributed to people's advanced ages.[18] The Bible's own (brief) explanation for these ages approaches the question from a different angle, explaining instead the relative shortness of normal lives in Genesis 6:3 (CSB): "And the Lord said, 'My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.'"


  • Scolastica Oliveri is said to have lived in Bivona, Italy, 1448–1578 (age 129–130), according to the archive of Monastero di San Paolo in Bivona located in Palermo.[19]
  • Around 1912, the Maharishi of Kailash was said by missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh to be a Christian hermit of over 300 years of age in a Himalayan mountain cave, with whom he spent some time in deep fellowship. Singh said the Maharishi was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and baptized by the nephew of St. Francis Xavier.[20]

Falun Gong

Chapter 2 of Falun Gong by Li Hongzhi (2001) states,

A person in Japan named Mitsu Taira lived to be 242 years old. During the Tang dynasty in our country, there was a monk called Hui Zhao [慧昭, 526–815[21]] who lived to be 290 [288–289] years old. According to the county annals of Yong Tai in Fujian Province, Chen Jun [陈俊] was born in the first year of Zhong He time (881 AD) under the reign of Emperor Xi Zong during the Tang Dynasty. He died in the Tai Ding time of the Yuan Dynasty (1324 AD), after living for 443 years.[22]




Ibrahim (إِبْرَاهِيم) was said to have lived to 168–169 years.[citation needed] His wife Sarah is the only woman in the Old Testament whose age is given. She died at 127 (Genesis 23:1). In the Quran, Noah allegedly lived for 950 years with his people.[35]

According to 19th-century scholars, Abdul Azziz al-Hafeed al-Habashi (عبد العزيز الحبشي) lived 673–674 Gregorian years, or 694–695 Islamic years, between 581 and 1276 AH.[36]

In Twelver Shia Islam, Hujjat-Allah al-Mahdi is believed to currently be in occultation and still alive (age 1153).[37]


Extreme lifespans are ascribed to the Tirthankaras, for instance:

  • Neminatha was said to have lived for over 10,000 years before his ascension.
  • Naminatha was said to have lived for over 20,000 years before his ascension.
  • Munisuvrata was said to have lived for over 30,000 years before his ascension.
  • Māllīnātha was said to have lived for over 56,000 years before his ascension.
  • Aranatha was said to have lived for over 84,000 years before his ascension.
  • Kunthunatha was said to have lived for over 200,000 years before his ascension.
  • Shantinatha was said to have lived for over 800,000 years before his ascension.
  • Dharmanatha was said to have lived for over 2,500,000 years before his ascension.
  • Anantanatha was said to have lived for over 3,500,000 years before his ascension.
  • Vimalanatha was said to have lived for over 6,000,000 years before his ascension.
  • Vasupujya was said to have lived for over 7,200,000 years before his ascension.
  • Shreyansanatha was said to have lived for over 8,400,000 years before his ascension.[38]

Theosophy/New Age

Ancient extreme longevity claims

These include claims prior to approximately 150 AD, before the fall of the Roman empire.


  • Fu Xi (伏羲) was supposed to have lived for 197 years.[41]
  • Lucian wrote about the "Seres" (a Chinese people), claiming they lived for over 300 years.
  • Zuo Ci who lived during the Three Kingdoms Period was said to have lived for 300 years.
  • In Chinese legend, Peng Zu was believed to have lived for over 800 years[42] during the Yin Dynasty (殷朝, 16th to 11th centuries BC).[43]


The Egyptian historian Manetho, drawing upon earlier sources, begins his Egyptian king list with the Graeco-Egyptian god Hephaestus (Ptah) who "was king for 9,000 years".[46]


A book Macrobii ("Long-Livers") is a work devoted to longevity. It was attributed to the ancient Greek author Lucian, although it is now accepted that he could not have written it.[citation needed] Most examples given in it are lifespans of 80 to 100 years, but some are much longer:

According to one tradition, Epimenides of Crete (7th, 6th centuries BC) lived nearly 300 years.[47]


Some early emperors of Japan are said to have ruled for more than a century, according to the tradition documented in the Kojiki, viz., Emperor Jimmu and Emperor Kōan.

  • Emperor Jimmu (traditionally, 13 February 711 BC – 11 March 585 BC) lived 126 years according to the Kojiki. These dates correspond to 125 years, 339 days, on the proleptic Julian and Gregorian calendars. However, the form of his posthumous name suggests that it was invented in the reign of Kanmu (781–806),[48] or possibly during the time in which legends about the origins of the Yamato dynasty were compiled into the Kojiki.
  • Emperor Kōan, according to Nihon Shoki, lived 137 years[49] (from 427 BC[50] to 291 BC).


  • Dangun, the first ruler of Korea, is said to have been born in 2333 BCE and to have died in 425 BCE at the age of 1,908 years.[citation needed]
  • Taejo of Goguryeo (46/47 – 165) is claimed to have reigned in Korea for 93 years beginning at age 7. After his retirement, the Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa give his age at death as 118,[51] while the Book of the Later Han states he died in 121 at age 74.

Persian empire

The reigns of several shahs in the Shahnameh, an epic poem by Ferdowsi, are given as longer than a century:

Ancient Rome

In Roman times, Pliny wrote about longevity records from the census carried out in 74 AD under Vespasian. In one region of Italy many people allegedly lived past 100; four were said to be 130, others up to 140.[citation needed]


Age claims for the earliest eight Sumerian kings in the major recension of the Sumerian King List were in units and fractions of shar (3,600 years) and totaled 67 shar or 241,200 years.[52]

In the only ten-king tablet recension of this list three kings (Alalngar, [...]kidunnu, and En-men-dur-ana) are recorded as having reigned 72,000 years together.[14][53] The major recension assigns 43,200 years to the reign of En-men-lu-ana, and 36,000 years each to those of Alalngar and Dumuzid.[52]



Medieval era



  • Welsh bard Llywarch Hen (Heroic Elegies) died c. 500 in the parish of Llanvor, traditionally about age 150.[56]


Modern extreme longevity claims

This list includes claims of longevity of 130 and older from the 14th century onward. All birth year and age claims are alleged unless stated otherwise.


The following cases have been documented in detail over time.

Name Birth Death Age Country Summary
Thomas Parr 1482–1483 1635-11-13[59] 152[59] England The case was recorded in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. William Harvey carried out a postmortem on him, according to Easton. Parr is buried in Westminster Abbey with his alleged age on the gravestone.
Henry Jenkins 1501[60] 1670[61] 169 England A brief biography of Henry Jenkins, of Ellerton-on-Swale, Yorkshire, was written by Anne Saville in 1663 based on Jenkins's description, stating birth in 1501; he also claimed to recall the 1513 Battle of Flodden Field.[60] However, Jenkins also testified in 1667, in favor of Charles Anthony in a court case against Calvert Smythson, that he was then only 157 or thereabouts.[62] He was born in Bolton-on-Swale,[56] and the date given, 17 May 1500,[63] results in only a 1-year discrepancy with the age of 169 on his monument (he died 8 December 1670).[61]
Peter Czartan 1539[56] 1724[56] 184[56] Romania Charles Hulbert, who reported Czartan's case in an 1825 collection, added that John (172) and his wife Sara[64] (164) both died in Hungary in 1741 after 148 years of marriage.[56] The Book Validation of Exceptional Longevity has the old couples last name as Rowin,[64] while The Virgin Birth And The Incarnation puts John and Sara's married name as Rovin.[56]
Li Ching-Yuen
Qing Dynasty,
Republic of China
A New York Times story announced the death on 5 May 1933 in Kai Xian, Sichuan, at the age of 197, of the Republic of China's Li Ching-Yuen (李青云, Li Qing Yun), who claimed to be born in 1736. A Time article noted that "respectful Chinese preferred to think" Li was 150 in 1827 (birth 1677), based on a government congratulatory message, and died at age 256. T'ai chi ch'uan master Da Liu stated that Li learned qigong from a hermit over age 500.
Zaro Aga 1764-02-16[67] 1934-06-29[67] 170[67] Ottoman Empire Kurdish man who claimed birth on February 16, 1764, and died on June 29, 1934 in Istanbul, Turkey at the alleged age of 170.
Javier Pereira 1789[68] 1955–58 165–169 Colombia A Zenú Indian from Colombia who was reputedly over 160 years old at the time of his death. Although his death is variously said to have been in 1955, 1956, and 1958, sources all claim that he was born in 1789.
Maftei Pop [ro] 1804-06-12 1952-03-15 147[69][70][71][72][73][74][75] Romania A man from Transylvania, who was claimed to be 148 years old when he died in 1952. The mayor of Recea Cristur in Cluj, Rus Laurian Alexandru, confirms that there are documents attesting that this man lived 148 years.
Shirali Muslimov 1805-03-26 1973-09-02[76] 168[76] Russian Empire,
Soviet Union,
An Azerbaijani shepherd of Talysh ethnicity from the village of Barzavu in the Lerik region of Azerbaijan, a mountainous area near the Iranian border. He claimed to be the oldest person who ever lived when he died on September 2, 1973 at the alleged age of 168 years and 162 days, based solely on a passport. National Geographic carried the claim. Some sources claimed him to be the oldest centenarian in the USSR. It was reported that at the moment of Muslimov's death, his wife was still living at 120 years of age.[77]
Sylvester Magee 1841-05-29[78] 1971-10-15[78] 130[78] United States Although much documentation is lost or possibly never existed, some sources suggest that Magee may have served in both the Confederate and Union armies. Alfred P. Andrews, founder of the Jackson Civil War Round Table and its president elect for 1965-66, helped Magee be classified as a Civil War veteran although no service records for him could be found.
Charlie Smith 1842 1979-10-05 137 United States Prior to Smith's death, the Guinness Book of World Records had called his claim into question, noting that Smith's marriage certificate from 1910 stated that he was 35 years old at the time, which would make him 104 years old at the time of his death.[79][80]
Bir Narayan Chaudhary 1856 1998 141–142 Nepal Bir claimed he was born in 1856, the son of a landowner.[81][82] A cattle rancher in the village of Khanar, near Biratnagar, he was purportedly a leader of the first land survey team in the area, conducted in 1888.[83] He was a smoker throughout his later life. Bir rose to prominence in the mid-1990s when Nepalese television and press began reporting on his claimed age.[82] In 1997, he was honored by Nepal's King Birendra for his claimed longevity.[81]
Habib Miyan 1869-05-20 2008-08-19 139 India Rahim "Habib Miyan" Khan of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, holds the Guinness World record for the longest retirement pension.[84][85] Miyan's claimed birth date derives from a family tree listing a Rahim Khan born in 1869, although his pension book listed his birth date as May 20, 1878.[86][87][88] He said he had been using these documents since he was discharged from the army in 1938 to claim a pension, making him the world's longest-registered old-age pensioner.[84][89] The Limca Book of Records lists him as the oldest man of Jaipur, describing him in its 2005 edition as "over 120 years".[90][91][89][88] In 2004 two unidentified people donated money for Miyan to go on Hajj, making him purportedly the oldest Hajj pilgrim in history.[92][93] He was named as the Aab-e-Jaipur ('Lustre of Jaipur') by the mayor of Jaipur.[86]
Mbah Gotho 1870-12-31 2017-04-30 146 Dutch East Indies,
In May 2010, Solopos reported that census enumerators recorded that Saparman Sodimejo, known more commonly as Mbah Gotho, was 142 years old.[94][95][96] Liputan 6 reported that his estimated age was 140, and that he could not remember his date of birth but claimed to remember the construction of a sugar factory in Sragen in 1880.[97][98][99] His ID card, issued in 2014, displays his claimed birth date of 31 December 1870.[100] A heavy smoker throughout his life, he allegedly outlived ten siblings, four wives and all five of his children.[101] On 28 April 2017, he was admitted to Dr. Soehadi Prijonegoro Regional General Hospital, Sragen, where he died on 30 April.[102][103][104]
Mubarak Rahmani Messe 1874 2014 140 Algeria Died in 2014, allegedly at 140 years of age, in El Oued Province, Algeria, and was survived by 100 grandsons. According to family members, Rahmani had spent much of his early life in the Algerian Desert and later held various challenging occupations, including in construction, farming and herding. He was hospitalised for the first time in 2012, with a stomach complaint. His diet, referred to as "natural", consisted largely of dates, wheat flour, sheep's milk, and green tea.[105]
Tuti Yusupova 1880-07-01[106] 2015-03-28[106] 134[106] Russian Empire,
Soviet Union,
Reuters reported that her age was uncovered in 2009 by Safar Hakimov, the ruling Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party's local chairman in Tortkol, Karakalpakstan when researching centenarians as part of the plans for the country's independence anniversary. After her funeral, her birth certificate and passport were declared conclusive evidence by Baxadir Yangibayev, Chairman of the Council of Ministers in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, where she lived and died.
Maria Lucimar Pereira[107] 1890-09-03 2022-05-21 131 Brazil A member of the Kaxinawa tribe, an indigenous people of Brazil and Peru. Indigenous name: Parã Banu Bake Huni Kui. Staff for Brazil's National Institute of Social Security found that Pereira had a birth certificate stating her year of birth as 1890. However, this certificate was only approved in 1985, late in her life. Exaggerated longevity claims may be common in Pereira's village, as four out of the 80 inhabitants in the village are over 90 years old.


Name Birth Death Age Country
Anonymous 2989 BC Un­known 5000[108] Egypt
Anonymous 2987 BC Un­known 5000[109] India
Anna Persdotter[110] 665 1689 1024 Sweden
Billafunda (Siddha) Sayadaw U.Kowida (Wizzardo Sayadaw U.Kowida) 908/968[111][112] Un­known 1112/1052[113][114] Myanmar
Colestein Veglin 1261[a] 1876 615[115][b] United States[115]
Thomas Cam 1381[56] 1588 207[116] England
Thomas Newman 1388–1389 1542[117] 153[117] England
Elizabeth Yorath[118] 1491 1668 177 England
Thomas Damme 1494–1495[56] 1649[56] 154[56] England
Chesten Marchant 1511 1676[119] 164[120] England
Peter Torton 1539 1724 185 Romania[55][121]
Mrs. Eckleston 1548 1691 143 England[122]
G. Stanley[118] 1568 1719 151 England
John Rovin[118] 1569 1741 172 England
Sarah Desson Rovin[118] 1577 1741 164 England
Jon Andersson 1582[123] 1729[123] 147[123] Sweden
Margaret Patten 1601–1602 1739[55] 137[55] United Kingdom
Louisa Truxo 1610[124] 1785[124] 175[124] Argentina
Joseph Surrington 1637[56] 1797[56] 159–160[56] United Kingdom
Peter Garden[118] 1644 1775 131 United Kingdom
Lan Xiang[125] 1668 1812 144 Qing Dynasty
Henry Francisco[118] 1686 1820 134 United Kingdom
United States
? Galvini 1686-1687 1825[126][127] 138 Papal States
Bridget Devine[118] 1698 1845 147 United Kingdom
Tance Abayeva 1724 Un­known 180[128] Russian Empire
James James 1752 1888 135 United States[129]
William Hotchkiss[118] 1755 1895 140 United States
Ashura Omarova 1775[c] Un­known 195[131][b] Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Carmen Pastenes 1800[132] 1933 133 Chile
Ajko Omerovitch 1804–1805 1934[133] 130[133] Ottoman Empire
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Zoe Ketteh 1807[d] Un­known 155[134][b] Liberia
Ali Ashraf Husseini 1808 Un­known 168[118] Iran
Mahmud Eyvazov[118] 1808 1960 152 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Delfina da Costa Freire[135] 1816 1971 155 Brazil
Amodzie[136] 1823[137] 2022[citation needed] 198–199 Ghana
Anton Pilya 1830–1831 1965[118] 135[118] Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Josefa Molina Lantz 1831[138] 2006 175[138] Venezuela[138]
Beim Mekraliyeva[118] 1832 Un­known 134 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Obaapanyin Agatha Dapaah 1834 2021 187[139] Ghana
Khfaf Lazuria[118] 1835 1975 140 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Medzhig Agagev[118] 1836 Un­known 140 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Bahkishi Orujeva[118] 1837 Un­known 130 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
James Olofintuyi 1844 Un­known 170[140][b] Nigeria[140]
Opanyin Kwaku Addae 1852–1853[e] Un­known 159[141][b] Ghana
Dhaqabo Ebba[f] 1853[144] 2015[144] 162[144] Ethiopia
Turinah[145] 1853 2012 159 Dutch East Indies
Omar Abas 1857[146] 2001? 144[147] Malaysia
Mohammed bin Zarei 1858–1859 2013[148] 154[148] Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Masoud 1861 2014[149] 153[149] Oman
Klayonoh Bleaorplue 1863[150] 2016[150] 153[150] Liberia
Gabriel Umeh Enemuo 1864–1865 2015[151] 151[151] Nigeria
Abdel Wali Numan 1865[152] 2007 142[g] Yemen
Ali bin Abdullah bin Ezab 1866 2006[153] 140[154] United Arab Emirates
Ali Al-Alakmi 1871–1872 2018[155] 147[155] Saudi Arabia
Feroz-ud-Din Mir 1872[156] 2014[156] 142[156] Pakistan
Bashir Al Saalmi 1873–1874 2010[157] 137[157] Oman
Moloko Temo 1874 2009[158] 134[158] South Africa
Sarhat Rashidova[citation needed] 1875 2007 131 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Khanum Hasno 1877–1878 2013[159] 136[159] Afghanistan
Yekini Ogundare[160] 1878 Un­known 142 Nigeria
Maritina Vangatala 1879[161] Un­known 135[161][b] Solomon Islands
Mzee Barnabas Kiptanui Arap Rop 1879[162] 2012[162] 133[h] Kenya
Antisa Khvichava 1880[163] 2012[163] 132[163] Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Maria Olivia da Silva 1880[164] 2010[165][166] 130[165] Brazil
Ntame Zambezi 1880[167] 2011[167] 130[167] Botswana
Alhaji Abdu Sikola 1880–1881 2015[168] 135[168] Nigeria
Cécilé Tshibola 1880–1881 2010[169] 130[169] Congo-Kinshasa
Johanna Ramatse 1883[170] 2017[170] 134[170] South Africa
Joao Coelho de Souza[171] 1884 2017 133 Brazil
Aisha Heddou 1885–1886 Un­known 130[172][b] Morocco
Tamam Azizova[173] 1890 Living 132–133 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Anonymous 1890–1891 Un­known 129–130[174] Thailand
Sheikh Adam Tahir 1892 2022 130[175] Nigeria


  • The Assamese polymath Sankardev (1449–1568) allegedly lived to the age of 118.[i]
  • Albrecht von Haller allegedly collected examples of 62 people ages 110–120, 29 ages 120–130, and 15 ages 130–140.[177]
  • A 1973 National Geographic article on longevity reported, as a very aged people, the BurushoHunza people in the Hunza Valley of the mountains of Pakistan.[76]
  • Swedish death registers contain detailed information on thousands of centenarians going back to 1749; the maximum age at death reported between 1751 and 1800 was 147.[178]
  • Cases of extreme longevity in the United Kingdom were listed by James Easton in 1799, who covered 1,712 cases documented between 66 BC and 1799, the year of publication;[179] Charles Hulbert also edited a book containing a list of cases in 1825.
  • A periodical The Aesculapian Register, written by physicians and published in Philadelphia in 1824, listed a number of cases, including several purported to have lived over 130. The authors said the list was taken from the Dublin Magazine.[180]
  • Deaths officially reported in the Russian Empire in 1815 listed 1,068 centenarians, including 246 supercentenarians (50 at age 120–155 and one even older).[56] Time magazine considered that, by the Soviet Union, longevity had elevated to a state-supported "Methuselah cult".[181] The USSR insisted on its citizens' unrivaled longevity by claiming 592 people (224 male, 368 female) over age 120 in a 15 January 1959 census[182] and 100 citizens of the Russian SSR alone aged 120 to 156 in March 1960.[183] According to the opinion of Time magazine, in Georgia such claims were fostered by Georgian-born Joseph Stalin's apparent hope that such longevity might rub off on him.[181] Zhores A. Medvedev, who demonstrated that all 500-plus claims failed birth-record validation and other tests,[181] said that Stalin "liked the idea that [other] Georgians lived to be 100".[183]
  • An early 1812 Peterburgskaya Gazeta reports a man between ages 200 and 225 in the diocese of Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipro, Ukraine).[56]
  • An Anonymous lady lived for 116 years in Dhaka, Bangladesh until her death in 2018.
  • Sher Ali Mia (from Bangladesh) is said to be born on 17 July 1894, making him 128 years old.



The idea that certain diets can lead to extraordinary longevity (ages beyond 130) is not new. In 1909, Élie Metchnikoff believed that drinking goat's milk could confer extraordinary longevity.[citation needed] The Hunza diet, supposedly practiced in an area of northern Pakistan, has been claimed to give people the ability to live to 140 or more,[184] but such claims are regarded as apocryphal.[185]


Traditions that have been believed to confer greater human longevity include alchemy.

  • Nicolas Flamel (early 1330s – c. 1418) was a 14th-century scrivener who developed a reputation as alchemist and creator of an "elixir of life" that conferred immortality upon himself and his wife Perenelle. His arcanely inscribed tombstone is preserved at the Musée de Cluny in Paris.
  • Fridericus (Ludovicus) Gualdus (Federico Gualdi [it]), author of "Revelation of the True Chemical Wisdom", lived in Venice in the 1680s. His age was reported in a letter in a contemporary Dutch newspaper to be over 400. By some accounts, when asked about a portrait he carried, he said it was of himself, painted by Titian (who died in 1576), but gave no explanation and left Venice the following morning.[186][187] By another account, Gualdus left Venice due to religious accusations and died in 1724.[188] The "Compass der Weisen" alludes to him as still alive in 1782 and nearly 600 years old.[186]

Fountain of Youth

The Fountain of Youth reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. Herodotus attributes exceptional longevity to a fountain in the land of the Ethiopians.[189] The lore of the Alexander Romance and of Al-Khidr describes such a fountain, and stories about the philosopher's stone, universal panaceas, and the elixir of life are widespread.

After the death of Juan Ponce de León, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés wrote in Historia General y Natural de las Indias (1535) that Ponce de León was looking for the waters of Bimini to cure his aging[190] on the expedition that led to the European discovery of Florida.

See Also



  1. ^ It was reported by the New York Times that Veglin was arrested on July 20, 1876.[115]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Last reported age
  3. ^ The oldest woman in the USSR according to the Novosti Press Agency (1970) was supposed to have been Ashura Omarova from Daghestan, aged 195.[130]
  4. ^ Zoe claimed to be 155 years old in 1962.
  5. ^ Opanyin was said to be 159 years old in 2011.
  6. ^ Like most rural Ethiopians, Ebba did not possess a birth certificate and his age cannot, therefore, be verified.[142][143]
  7. ^ The source used for Numan states he died at 140. This would mean that the information would have to come from 2005 and not a source dated from 2007.
  8. ^ "Estimated" age[162]
  9. ^ The traditional date of Sankardev's birth, generally considered correct, is in the month of Ashwin-Kartika (October) 1449. Assuming the middle of October as his birthdate in that year, his life span was 118 years, 10 months and a few days.[176]

[34] [33]


  1. ^ a b Ni, Maoshing (2006). Secrets of Longevity. Chronicle Books. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-8118-4949-4. Chuan xiong ... has long been a key herb in the longevity tradition of China, prized for its powers to boost the immune system, activate blood circulation, and relieve pain.
  2. ^ a b Fulder, Stephen (1983). An End to Ageing: Remedies for Life. Destiny Books. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-89281-044-4. Taoist devotion to immortality is important to us for two reasons. The techniques may be of considerable value to our goal of a healthy old age, if we can understand and adapt them. Secondly, the Taoist longevity tradition has brought us many interesting remedies.
  3. ^ Number Manipulation for Profit, or Just for Fun? by Paul Y. Hoskisson "Number Manipulation for Profit, or Just for Fun?". maxwellinstitute.byu.edu. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.[who?]
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  • Boia, Lucian (2004). Forever Young: A Cultural History of Longevity from Antiquity to the Present. ISBN 978-1-86189-154-9.
  • Thoms, William J. (1879). The Longevity of Man. Its Facts and Its Fictions. With a prefatory letter to Prof. Owen, C.B., F.R.S. on the limits and frequency of exceptional cases. London: F. Norgate.