Mbah Gotho, an Indonesian man from the island of Java, has official documentation that attests that he was born on December 31st, 1870. If confirmed, this would make him 23 years older than the than the official world record holder for world’s oldest human, French woman JeanneCalment who died at 122.
Authorities in Gotho’s hometown of Sragen told local media that they have verified their records and an ID card with his date of birth posted online, and that his claim appears legit. However, until his documents are independently verified, he cannot officially be named the oldest human being in history. Not that the title matters to much to Gotho, who in a recent interview told reporters that he has only one wish left – to die. While it may sound eerie, it’s an understandable desire, considering his current situation.
For the past three months, the 145-year-old has had to be spoon-fed and bathed by his grandchildren as he has become increasingly frail. He spends most of his days sitting and listening to the radio, because his deteriorated eyesight doesn’t allow him to watch television. “What I want is to die. My grandchildren are all independent,” Gotho said last week.
If you’re wondering just how old 145 is, maybe this will put it into perspective. Mbah Gotho has outlived all of his 10 siblings, as well as his four wives – the last of which died in 1988 – and all his children. His nearest living relatives are grand children, great grand children, and great-great grandchildren.
Gotho, who was allegedly 74 years old when World War II ended, says he has been expecting to die since the early 90’s, when he was in his 120’s. That’s when he bought a burial site close to his children, but it turns out life wasn’t yet done with him, and still isn’t.
Asked what the secret to his incredible longevity is, the 145-year-old said “The recipe is just patience.”