The world’s oldest living man on record, Saparman Sodimejo, also known as Mbah Gotho, just turned 146 and is still happy and healthy. Gotho was born in Indonesia on December 31, 1870, and spent most of his life as a farmer. He has just finished celebrating his birthday with his grandson’s relatives living in the Seragaen district of Central Java and says that the secret to his long life is “just patience.” He also says that when it comes to life, just “relax and take it easy.”
Others who have lived to ripe old ages have had their own secrets. Japan’s Kamato Hongo, who lived to 116, was known for her “two day sleeps” where she stayed awake for two days and then slept for the next two.
Misao Okawa, who lived until the age of 117, was famed for eating a steady diet of sushi, while sleeping for at least eight hours each night.
Ethel Lang lived to be 114 and said that while she never smoked and rarely ever drank, loved to dance. And Alice Herz-Sommer said that being “positive” was the secret to her long life, which lasted until the age of 110.
RT reports that the world’s oldest living man now, Mbah Gotho, has outlived his four wives, the last wife having died in 1988, 10 siblings and each of his children. He has also survived two world wars and many natural disasters. While official Indonesian records do show that Mbah is 146, this would need to be verified by an independent third party for him to claim the Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest man.
If the Guinness Book of World Records did recognize him has being the oldest man alive, that would mean he had significantly broken the previous record that was set by France’s Jeanne Calment, who lived until the age of 122.
At the moment, he joins the ranks of other unverified people such James Olofintuyi from Nigeria, whose family say he is 171, and Dhaqabo Ebba from Ethiopia, aged 163. However, Mbah Gotho does have government-issued Indonesian ID showing his age and the local government has said that they would help Gotho apply for a Guinness World Record if he chose to.
— Visualsevent (@visualsevent) August 24, 2016
One of the perks of being the oldest man alive at age 146 is that Mbah Gotho has many memories of past events. For instance, he can recall the opening of a Dutch-owned sugar factory in Gondang Sragen that was visited by the King of Solo when he was just 10-years-old.
Mbah Gotho is reported to be in extremely good health and is capable of being able to walk completely independently. His family also say that he “eats everything and has never even been ill,” as the Daily Mail revealed.
Gotho’s grandson, Suryanto, has said that while his grandfather is fully prepared to die and has been since the age of 122, death has so far eluded him. Suryanto also stated that a gravesite had been prepared for him by the graves of his children.
“The gravestone there was made in 1992. That was 24 years ago.”
Despite living until age 146 and happy, Gotho admitted, “What I want is to die. My grandchildren are all independent.”
Gotho’s other grandchildren say that he spends the majority of his time listening to the radio as watching television is too difficult due to Mbah’s poor eyesight. He also has to be spoon fed and helped while bathing, but is still able to do much on his own.
While Mbah Gotho can claim to be the world’s oldest living man at age 146, as shown by his ID card, it is up to him whether he would like this to be verified so that he can be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest man.
[Featured Image by Ty Wright/AP Images]