For centuries, mankind has tried to unravel the mystery of longevity. After all, according to the Bible, people lived up to 900 years before the Flood. And Methuselah did live to be 969 years old.

However, until now, scientists do not know why this or that person becomes a super-long-liver. Some of these lucky people drink, smoke and indulge in “various bad excesses” all their lives, while others follow a strict diet and lead a healthy lifestyle. We also do not know the answer to this question. But we know how old the oldest person in the world is.

The oldest person alive

The oldest person on Earth now is a resident of Japan, Kane Tanaka. According to the latest data from the Guinness Book of Records website, this woman is the oldest inhabitant of the Earth. Her age has already exceeded 118 years.

The life of Kane Tanaka is a clear proof that at any age you should not give up. At the age of 103, she was diagnosed with an oncological disease (colon cancer), but the woman successfully overcame the disease and continues to enjoy life. She believes that the secret to longevity lies in hope, family support, proper diet and sleep.

The previous longest-lived record holder, Nabi Tajima, lived 117 years and 260 days and passed away in 2018.

And the title of the oldest man in the world of living men in February 2020, passed to the Briton Robert Weighton. His documented date of birth is March 29, 1908, and he has already celebrated his 112th birthday.

Robert Weighton passed away on May 28, 2020 from cancer in his sleep.

Just imagine that in the year he was born, Theodore Roosevelt was president of the United States, the Tunguska meteorite fell in Siberia, and the Titanic had not even begun to be built.

At one time, Weighton managed to work as an engineer and teacher, visited Taiwan, Japan and Canada, and now lives in a nursing home in the city of Alton. He has two sons, a daughter, 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. The long-liver himself goes for groceries, and a proud sign flaunts on his walker - 111. He drinks alcohol only on special occasions, does not smoke and does not eat red meat. As for some special diet, Robert Weighton does not have it.

“I have done nothing to deserve or reach this age. I'm just one of the lucky ones," the oldest living man on Earth once said. And he recommended only one thing to those who want to live to his age. Don't die!

Before him, the oldest person in the world was Masazo Nonaka, a resident of Hokkaido, who died in 2019 at the age of 113.

Chitetsu Watanabe, who at the beginning of this year was officially awarded the title of the oldest man in the world from the Guinness Book of Records, did not reach his 113th birthday a bit. He passed away very recently, on February 23, 2020, at the age of 112 years, 355 days. During his lifetime, Watanabe said that the secret to longevity lies in not getting angry and smiling more often.

The oldest person who ever lived

On August 4, 1997, Jeanne Calment died in a nursing home in France. Of course, the Grim Reaper will come for all of us, but he was in no hurry to see Mrs. Kalman. She died at the age of 122 years and 164 days, setting the official record for human longevity.

Before her, the title of "the oldest person on the planet", according to the Guinness Book of Records, was held by the Japanese Shigechiyo Izumi, who was born on June 29, 1865 and died on February 21, 1986, at the age of 120 years and 237 days. It is interesting that both Kalman and Izumi did not deny themselves either drinking or smoking.

And unofficially, the oldest person on Earth was the Chinese Li Qingyun, presumably (since there are no documents confirming this) born in 1736 and died in 1933. Some sources even cite 1677 as the date of Qingyun's birth. That is, at the time of his death he was 256 years old.

For most of his life, this man was engaged in collecting medicinal herbs in the mountains of Sichuan, and comprehending the secret of longevity. When Lee was asked about the secret to his fantastically long life, he replied, "keep your heart quiet, sit like a turtle, walk awake like a dove, and sleep like a dog." He also did qigong exercises and drank herbal infusion, the recipe of which has been lost.

List of the oldest inhabitants of the planet

This is what a dozen verified centenarians of the Earth look like, both now alive and already left this world.

Jeanne Calment - lived 122 years.

Sarah Knauss - lived to be 119 years old.

Lucy Hanna - lived to be 117 years old.

Nabi Tajima - lived to be 117 years old.

Maria Louise Meyer - lived to be 117 years old.

Violet Brown lived to 117 years.

Emma Morano - lived 117 years.

Misao Okawa - lived to be 117 years old.

Kane Tanaka - 117 years old, alive.

Chiyo Miyako lived to 117 years.

There are no men in the top 10 centenarians, because the oldest verified centenarian (Jiroemon Kimura) lived 116 years and 54 days.

How long can a person theoretically live

According to the Bible, a person can theoretically live to the age of Methuselah - 969 years. According to Li Qingyun, one can live for over 250 years.

But aging expert at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Ian Wij, doubts we'll see centenarians like Jeanne Calment again. Over the past few decades, human life expectancy has increased. But now, according to Vij, we have reached the upper limit of human longevity and people will not cross the 115-year mark.