The Chinese woman just celebrated her birthday, but she isn't on the official list
I wonder what a birthday cake would look like with 127 candles on it? I won't have to worry about extinguishing all those candles any time soon, but one woman may have.
Luo Meizhen, who lives in China's Guangxi province, reportedly celebrated her 127th birthday just days ago and if it's verified she'll be the oldest person who ever lived. However, that may be impossible because while she says she was born in 1885, birth certificates in the region only started to be kept after the 1949 Communist takeover. All she has is a faded copy of her identity card as shown in this video from 2011.
The record for the oldest known person is currently held by Jeanne Calment of France who died at 122 in 1997. However, according to the Gerontological Society of China, local records in the same country where Luo lives show a person who died in 1911 lived to 142 years of age.
The Daily Mail reports Luo lives with her only son, who she gave birth to at age 61. Where they live is known for longevity with 74 of the county's 238,000 residents being over the age of 100.
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To celebrate, she had a party and ate a bowl of rice, two slices of pork, a piece of duck meat, chicken and two pieces of cake. If you get to 127, you definitely deserve two pieces of cake.
According to ChinAfrica, researchers say the reason people can live so long in this part of China is because they work from sunrise to sunset, climb mountains doing farm work, get adequate sleep, sleep in separate beds from their spouses and many soak their feet in hot water every night. People in the region eat mostly vegetables that grow naturally without pesticides, eat small amounts of meat and don't like fried food. Luo also likes soybeans and sow thistle, a bitter plant used in herbal medicine.
Researchers also credit fresh air and the lack of pollution in the region for the large number of centenarians. Luo has lived through war and famine and eats a diet influenced by scarcity over the years.
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However, the region is becoming a tourist destination with people flocking to learn the secrets of a long life. These tourists may have an impact on the lifestyle of residents and conditions of the region.
The oldest Canadian to ever lived was Marie-Louise Meilleur who passed away at age 117 in 1998. Three Canadians made it to the top twenty of the list.
Luo may have some competition for her record in the coming decades because Besse Cooper of the U.S. just turned 116.