The longest human lifespan ever recorded was of Jeanne Calment from Arles, France. She has lived for 122 years and 164 days before bidding her last goodbye on August 4, 1997. And until now, no one has ever beaten her breathtaking record.
As of today, the record for oldest living person, Nabi Tajima, is only 117 years and 62 days old. She's also the last surviving person born in the 19th century. This makes me think, will we ever reach that long and be able to see the far future?
Well, with the current researches about life extension, the thought seems possible. Studies like those that diminish the effects of ageing through young blood infusion or the improvement on creating anti-cancer drugs give hope to its likelihood. But these techniques on extending lifespan are actually still not applied to humans.
So, as of now, we still don't know for sure the effects of any life extension techniques. Perhaps we have to wait for three to four decades until today's septuagenarians--or people in their seventies--will be reaching close to Calment’s age.
If successful, this might sound like a blessing but really, it's a huge curse. A curse we wanted ourselves. If we'll live that long similar to Tajima, who reached the age of retirement around 60 years ago, we would live in a world full of super old people. And bioethicists are concerned of how extending one’s lifespan affects society as a whole. Add overpopulation to that, and we are going to be living with more and more people who die longer soon.
This may seem farfetched but with today's advancements, it's possible. Would you want to live long enough to see the whole world either ruin itself more or finally get the pieces together? Damn, so many questions, so many possibilities.
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