(Jeanne Calment pictured shortly before her death aged 122 in 1997).
When she turned 120 years old in 1995, plucky Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment was asked what type of future she expected.
“A very short one,” she replied.
But Calment lived two more years, dying at age 122 with the longest documented lifespan of any person in history. Scientists who examined statistical trends regarding maximum lifespans said Calment’s record may last a long time.
An analysis of mortality and population data covering about 40 countries indicated humankind may already have hit its longevity ceiling, they said.
Average life expectancy continues to increase and more people are reaching extreme old age. But, the researchers said, people who reach 110 today have no greater life expectancy than those who lived to 110 in the 1970s. The age at death of the world’s oldest person has not increased since Calment died in 1997.
The trend since then has been for the world’s oldest person to reach around age 115, and the researchers predicted this would remain stable for the foreseeable future.
Once regarded as the world’s oldest living person, Emma Morano was an Italian woman who died at the age of 117 years and 137 days. The Italian super centenarian lived through three centuries and was also the last verified living person from the 1800s. Morano was also regarded as one of the five oldest people in the history of the world. In July 2016, Morano earned a place in the ‘Guinness World Records,’ as the oldest living person. In a way, she achieved the feat by doing nothing but surviving through life. She attributes her long life to eating raw eggs daily and not getting involved with a man all her life. It is said that she had fallen in love with a man when she was young but never saw him afterwards. At 26, she married another man, only to separate in a few years. Following this, she decided to not give marriage much importance. She also remains to be the oldest Italian person to have ever lived and the second-oldest European after Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment. After Emma’s death, the tag of the world’s oldest living person went to Violet Brown of Jamaica, followed by Nabi Tajima of Japan. However, Tajima, too, died on April 21, 2018, making Chiyo Miyako of Japan, aged 116, the current oldest living person.
So for all you youngsters in your 70s & 80s who worry about snuffing it anytime soon, take heart, banish your negativity and embrace this wonderful life that might last a lot longer than you may think.
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