If he indeed was born, as his documents say, in 1870, Mbah Gotho would be the longest lived human being ever on record in modern times. He passed away on the April 30, 2017 in Sragen, Central Java, Indonesia. What was his secret?
Mbah claimed to be the world’s oldest man and he celebrated a birthday, which he said was his 146th, in Indonesia, along side his wife Suwarni, his grandson, Suryanto, and his three great grand children.
Did Mbah Gotho Reach 146 Years Old?
As to the question of verification, the BBC contacted Indonesian authorities who assured them that his papers were indeed valid. It comes down to how much one trusts the Indonesian authorities on the matter.
Sodimejo, or Mbah Gotho (or Ghoto), had an Indonesian ID card that claimed his date of birth was Dec. 31, 1870. Indonesia didn’t start recording such things until three decades later, but authorities assured the BBC that Sodimejo’s papers were valid. (USAToday)
If his claim is correct, he bested the previous oldest person, Jeanne Calment who lived to be 122 years old in France. She died in 1997. He outlived all 10 of his brothers and sisters, plus four of his wives and all of his children. His confirmed birthday according to the “Indonesian records office” was December 31st, 1870.
He was quoted as saying that the secret to his long life was “just patience.”
His Indonesian ID card was not independently verified so it may have been incorrect. (See this Link)
Interesting that he has two names and one sounds a bit like superman.
Saparman Sodimejo, known more commonly as Mbah Gotho (born, reportedly, 31 December 1870) is an Indonesian man who is claimed to be the oldest person ever recorded. In May 2010, Solopos reported that enumerators of that year’s census had recorded his age next birthday as 142, which would make him 19 years older than the official oldest recorded person, Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997.
One reason that Mbah Gotho might be telling the truth is that he claimed to remember the construction of a sugar factory built in Sragen in 1880.
In August 2016, after a television report on Liputan 6, numerous international media outlets reported Mbah Gotho’s claim, including photographs of his ID card (issued in 2014), which displays his claimed birth date. Although Indonesian officials at the local record office confirm the birth date there is no independent, third-party verification of his claimed age, which is required for the longevity claim to be recognized by record authorities such as Guinness World Records.
Robert Young of the Gerontology Research Group said the claimed age was “fiction”, “unbelievable” and “in the same category as Sasquatch [“Bigfoot”], the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster.”
Read more: Link
He’s been ready to die for a while, according to his own words.
“What I want is to die. My grandchildren are all independent,” he told Liputan 6 on Tuesday.
Suryanto, Mbah Gotho’s grandson, said his grandfather has been preparing for his death ever since he was 122, but it never seemed to come.
He said: “The gravestone there was made in 1992. That was 24 years ago.”
In addition, Suryanto said Mbah Gotho’s family has already prepared a grave site for him – near his children’s graves.
Read more: Link
How do we know that Mbah Gotho was the same person as Saparman Sodimejo in the ID?
Here is a higher resolution photo.
Here is some video of Mbah Gotho while he was alive.:
Other Longevity Claims
There are others without verifiable records who are believed by some to be older than Mbah Gotho – 171-year-old James Olofintuyi from Nigeria and 163-year-old Dhaqabo Ebba from Ethiopia are examples.
Further back in time, there is a Japanese folk tale about an acupressure/accupunture point call Stomach 36 which increases longevity and a farmer named Manpei who lived 243 years.
A Japanese folk tale from the Edo era (1603-1867) about Farmer Manpei tells that when Manpei was asked whether he had any secret to maintaining long life, he answered that he had no secret other than burning Moxa on St-36 every day, just as his ancestors had done. It is recorded that Manpei lived 243 years; his wife, Taku, lived 242 and their son, Mankichi, lived 196 years.
In recent records, it is well known that Doctor Shimetaro Hara used to burn Moxa on his St-36 every day and he lived to be over 100 years of age.
Besting Manpei was Li Ching-Yuen, the amazing 256 year old man, supposedly.
When the Chinese herbalist Li Ching-Yuen died in 1933, newspapers around the world reported the news of his passing. According to his own testimony, he was 197 years old.
An investigation, however, suggested Li had forgotten his actual birthday. Official government records recorded the birth year as 1677, making him 256.
… Wu Pei-fu, the warlord, took Li into his house to learn the secret of living to 250. Another pupil said Li told him to “keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog.”
Would You Want to Live to 200?
In some cultures age is valued and people of advanced age are greatly respected, in others, less so. With a continued high quality of life, many people would not mind living to be 615 years old or more.
True Strange News notes that one man actually claimed to be this old. His name was Colestein Veglin. Photos of Colestein Veglin could be found, but on July 20, 1876 The New York Times, told of a man arrested in Newark, NJ named Colestein Veglin. The man claimed to have six living wives and also that he was 615 years old. Following this declaration, he was taken to an insane asylum, but only for two days.
Would you want to live such a long time if you could keep learning and enjoying a healthy happy life? How about if your body could be stopped from visibly aging so you looked, at first glance, about 35 years old at that age?
Could We, with Technology, Live to 200+ Years?
An engineer named Aubrey de Grey has been studying aging and he says there are seven biological reasons we age. None of them, he claims, are beyond our capacity to repair or adjust, giving humans a future potential to extend our lifespans indefinitely. To further the research, Aubrey created something known as the Methuselah Mouse Prize, which at one point offered a million dollar award to the team that could make their mouse live the longest. True Strange News wonders if aging will turn out to be a curable disease.
How to Age More Slowly
There are things we know now from science about how to age more slowly. Getting a little 30 to 45 minute brisk walk in every day to empty the biological trash that builds up in the lymph from cellular metabolism is one of the best things you can do. Inflammation causes premature aging and walking, even more than running or jogging, is one of the most anti-inflammatory things you can do. Making it a habit for a healthy life, regardless of what age you would like to reach.
Learning from Immortal Animals
Believe it or not, there are a number of existing plant and animal species that are seemingly deathless, that is, biologically immortal. As one example, the oldest confirmed age of a tortoise was 255 years, but some may have lived to twice this age, over 500 years old. The oldest confirmed animal was a clam which reached 507 years old. The Arctica islandica bivalve mollusk, or ocean quahog has growth rings, which, like a tree, allows determination of age.
Other possible biologically immortal animals include Bdelloids, Bowhead Whales, Clams, Glass Sponges, Greenland Sharks, Hydras, Jelly Fish, Lobsters, Lungfish, Planaria, the Red Sea Urchin, the Rough Eye Rock Fish, Sea Anemone, Tree Weta Bugs, and Tardigrades (water bears).
As we learn more about the strategies that these animals use to repair damage from biological aging, it seems quite possible to True Strange News that future humans could achieve something similar with genetic engineering.