Aug 31, 2016 I Brett Tingley

Alleged 145-Year Old Man Can’t Wait To Die

One of Mbah Gotho’s grandsons had a gravestone made in 1992, when Gotho was 122 years old. Twenty-four years later, that gravestone is still waiting on the world’s alleged oldest living man to fill it. Based on Indonesian records, Mbah Gotho is the world’s oldest living human. The 145-year old Indonesian man was born on December 31, 1870, according to documentation verified by authorities in the local government of Sragen, central Java, where Gotho lives.

Gotho's identification card, showing his alleged December 31, 1870 birthday.

Gotho’s already-built gravestone lies near the graves of his own children. In his alleged 145 years on Earth, Gotho has had to suffer through the deaths of ten of his siblings, four wives, and all of his children. He now has three generations of progeny walking the Earth, and was 77 years old when World War II ended. What’s the secret behind Gotho’s mysteriously long life? According to Gotho, one thing: “patience.” So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong...

In recent months, Gotho has become so frail that he must now be spoon fed and bathed by assistants. Due to his long-gone eyesight, the supposed 145-year old spends his days mostly listening to the radio.

Gotho's gravestone has sat empty four twenty-four ominous years.

What does the world’s presumably oldest man wish for? According to Indonesian news outlet Liputan 6, an end to the cruel joke nature has played on him:

What I want is to die. My grandchildren are all independent.

Gotho’s age has not been independently verified by international authorities, however, making the claims of his age still unofficial and ruling out any Guinness World Record titles.

Gotho speaks with a reporter from Indonesian news outlet Liputan 6.

Gotho’s claims then have to placed alongside other unverified ‘world’s oldest people’ such as Ethiopia’s 163-year-old Dhaqabo Ebba and the 171-year-old James Olofintuyi from Nigeria. The world’s official independently verified oldest person was France’s Jeanne Calment, who died at 122 in 1997.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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