Tag: Jeanne Calment

Grand old people

Statistics are funny. Because when you look at it, it is very bad for your health to become 114. You really should try to avoid it.

Today Emma Morano of Italy celebrated her 117th birthday. That makes her the 6th oldest person who ever lived, at least from the people who have been recognized as such because they could show some sort of proper documentation about their birth.
On the ranking of the 100 oldest people ever, she has only 5 persons to catch up to. I am using the word ‘only’ of course relatively here…
I love this list because I am a history junk, and well, this is living history. Well, some of the people on the list are alive at least.

But to get back to the danger of becoming 114, to get on the list, you need to be at least 114 years and 86 days to push  Delma Kollar and Waka Shirahama from the chart. But the first 115 year old is only at place 41!  Annie Jennings from the UK managed to become  115 years and 8 days. So she escaped that deadly age of 114! But 59 persons did not. So in the group of 100 people, 59% died at 114. Clearly, becoming 114 is risky business.
Of course this does not make much sense mathematically, but it does seem to show there is an age barrier, that is very difficult to breach.

Now to get back to Emma Morano, because this is her day after all. She needs to ‘beat’ 3 women to become the oldest person of 117 who dies at 117, if she would die at age 117. But of course, I wish her the longest life possible, so we can also say that she is three places away from being one of three people ever, who lived beyond 117! Sarah Knauss reached a respectable 119 years and 97 days, and the oldest person ever, Jeanne Calment is still in a class of her own at 122 years and 164 days. And she was from Arles, and could remember seeing Vincent van Gogh walking around the town.

History is so awesome sometimes…

Last oldest people ever gem: Nobody ever died at the age of 118. Or 120. Or 121. And only 2 persons ever celebrated their 118th and 119th birthdays. And only one person ever had 120, 121 and 122 candles on the cake. Go Emma Morano!

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