A man who claimed he was the world’s oldest human has died at the apparent age of 146. Whether he really was this old is somewhat contentious, however.
Saparman Sodimedjo, also called Mbah Ghoto (Grandpa Ghoto), heralded from Central Java in Indonesia. He died on April 30 after being taken to hospital earlier in April. He was supposedly born in December 1870.
His claim of his age is controversial though, as Indonesia only began recording births in 1900. However, officials supposedly told the BBC that papers he had supplied proving his age were valid.
But he was never officially recognized as the oldest human on Earth. That honor remains with Jeanne Calment from France, who died at the age of 122 in 1997. The oldest human still alive is 117-year-old Violet Brown from Jamaica.
Science isn’t entirely on his side, either. Last year, researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York, said the oldest age a person could reach was 125. This, they said, was due to imperfections in the copying of genes.
Sodimedjo was a heavy smoker, and outlived four wives and 10 children. He was buried in a local cemetery plot he had bought, reported The Guardian. Five children, 12 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren survived him.
In quotes carried by The Guardian, he said he’d been able to live a long life “because I have people that love me looking after me.” In his younger days, he’d been a farmer and fisherman.
We’ll probably never know for sure if Sodimedjo really was 146 years old. In his eyes, though, it seems he was. And for some, that might be all that matters.