Mbah Gotho Believes he is 145 Years Old.
As the first Trans-Continental Railroad celebrated its first year in operation, an Indonesian couple in the central part of the island of Java did some celebrating of their own. Nine months later, Mbah Gotho was born on December 31rst, 1870. His birthdate, which has recently been confirmed by the Indonesian government, makes him 145 years old. If proven true, he would far surpass the previous world record holder for oldest person ever, Jeanne Calment, who lived to the verified age of 122.
There are, of course, problems with the claim. First, the Indonesian government has only been keeping valid records since the 1900’s, and they have admitted to making errors in the past. Second, the claim will need to be verified by an independent body in order to place Mbah Gotho in the record books. There have been several claims over the years to have surpassed Jeanne Clement’s record, but none to date have proven true.
Despite the neigh-sayers, Mbah Gotho has become somewhat of an international celebrity, especially so in Indonesia. His family are convinced his given age of 145 years old is accurate. In a recent interview with the BBC, Mr. Gotho’s grandson and caregiver explained, “In terms of his private life officially, he has married four times, and outlived all of his siblings and children.”
At his advanced age, Mbah Gotho is not too concerned with fame. In fact, he prepared a tombstone for himself in 1992, expecting to die. That was 24 years ago. “He is still a heavy smoker,” his grandson says. Evidentally, Mr. Gotho is not too concerned with his health.
“Right now I want to die,” he told the BBC. “But it’s not my time yet.”
Let’s Put Mbah Gotho’s Claimed Age Into Perspective.
To put Mbah Gotho’s claimed age into perspective, the following are key historical events, and how old Mbah Gotho would have been at the time:
1870: Franco-Prussian War. Mbah Gotho was a newborn.
1886: Statue of Liberty is Dedicated. Mbah Gotho was 15.
1889: The Eiffel Tower is Completed. Mbah Gotho was 18.
1912: Maiden Voyage of the Titanic. Mbah Gotho was 41.
1914: World War I breaks out. Mbah Gotho was 43, too old to serve in most armies.
1920: Women’s Suffrage is passed in the U.S. Mbah Gotho was 49.
1929: U.S. stock market crash. Mbah Gotho was 58.
1941: Attack on Pearl Harbor. Mbah Gotho was getting ready to celebrate his 71rst birthday.
1945: The first use of the Atomic Bomb. Mbah Gotho was 75 years old, ten years older than the average life expectancy of an American at the time.