back to article World's oldest human was a 122-year-old French smoker after all

Russian claims that the world's oldest-ever human on record actually had her identity stolen by her daughter have been trashed by a paper published today in The Journals of Gerontology. Jeanne Calment was already a minor national treasure in her native France when she passed away in Arles in 1997 at the age of 122 and 165 days …

  1. Tim Wolfe-Barry
    Coat

    "too busy with their tape measure, stopwatch and whistle"

    Stop-calendar, surely...

  2. Harry Stottle

    Dry run?

    I can't think of any motive for the Russian authors, other than as a dry run for how best to launch arbitrary fake news items onto a compliant Web...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dry run?

      That, or they're trying to distract people from talking about life expectancy in Russia.

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: Dry run?

        Hey, when you're worse than North Korea...

  3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    122 years? Is that all?

    Why, I've got belly button lint older'n that!

    *Shakes a fossilized pseudopod*

    Danged whippersnappers anyer newfangled gaseous oxygen. Get off'n my Primordial Soup!

    =-)P

  4. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "When you Google the Russian researchers, you find nothing"

    At least that can be easily debunked as false, fake news.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: "When you Google the Russian researchers, you find nothing"

      Thats weird, for me Googling their names bring up results.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: "When you Google the Russian researchers, you find nothing"

      "When you Google the Russian researchers, you find nothing"

      At least that can be easily debunked as false, fake news.

      When I googled 'the Russian researchers', I certainly didn't get anything helpful (Creepypasta sleep experiment was in the first five). Although, apparently, the Russian dude maybe shouldn't be talking to foriegners...

    3. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: "When you Google the Russian researchers, you find nothing"

      It's the curse of the soundbite idiom: I supposed he wasn't intending to be taken literally by pedants. If he'd said "he has nothing between his ears" that would be untrue too. It's one academic dissing another for lacking a serious body of peer-reviewed published work. You can Google the two Russian researchers but practically everything you find about them concerns Jeanne Calment case and nothing else.

      That said, I note that Zak uploaded to Research Gate a brief response to the new Calment paper.

  5. DougS Silver badge

    Let me guess

    There's a Russian in second place, so they wanted to dethrone the oldest person so the Russian could be first?

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Let me guess

      What? As opposed to the normal approach of the Russian being in second place ....... until they give them loads of performance enhancing drugs?!?

      1. DeeCee

        Re: Let me guess

        Thats what they are trying to do with lenin

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Let me guess

      According to Wikipedia, it's an American woman in second place. In fact, I can't see a single Russian anywhere on that page, except for one man who was born in the Russian Empire (in 1905), which became Poland in 1918, and eventually moved to Israel.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This just in... New Study Of Aging Finds Old People Are Liars

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-09-01/new-study-aging-finds-old-people-are-liars

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: This just in... New Study Of Aging Finds Old People Are Liars

      Maybe they're really saying that we're all only as old as we feel. I know there are times when I feel a decade older than I am. Perhaps I should just update the car's head unit to one that doesn't have a cassette player.

      1. BuckeyeB

        Re: This just in... New Study Of Aging Finds Old People Are Liars

        George Burns used to say, "You're only as old as the women you feel."

        Well, I've been feeling good lately.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This just in... New Study Of Aging Finds Old People Are Liars

      In other news... major media outlets found to engage in alternative truth.

      Place your facts accordingly.

    3. Blackjack

      Re: This just in... New Study Of Aging Finds Old People Are Liars

      Thing is, people usually say they are younger that they really are, not older.

      I knew a person that I thought was 85, when she died it turned out she was actually 91. Even family members had to search for her birth certificate to know how old she was when she died, since not even her own daughter knew how old she really was.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy theories is a national sport in Russia

    > A team of French, Danish and Swiss researchers, statisticians and scientists assembled to test each of the 17 Russian claims, and their findings unveiled today ruthlessly dismantle the lot.

    Pffft. Their first mistake was to take them seriously. Come on. This is the country where they officially believe that Americans never landed on Moon, 9/11 was done by CIA, John F. Kennedy was assassinated by FBI, there are aliens in Area 51, NATO plans to occupy them and other such bull. Disparaging others to show how great Russia is is a government-sponsored national sport. Why debunk everything some loons claim? They can easily pull out some other insulting "theory" out of their ... well, the same place the previous came from.

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy theories is a national sport in Russia

      Unfortunately, except -- possibly* -- for "...NATO plans to occupy them...", you've pretty much described the mass of National Enquirer-reading, InfoWars-following loonies occupying vast swaths of middle-America.

      * For them, its not NATO but jackbooted, United Nations, One-Worlder thugs, all ready to invade and force gun control and universal healthcare on us.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Conspiracy theories is a national sport in Russia

        > you've pretty much described the mass of National Enquirer-reading, InfoWars-following loonies occupying vast swaths of middle-America.

        Mike, yes, crazies are everywhere. The difference is that conspiracy theories are not pushed as the officially approved POV. Trump? Ok, I stand corrected...

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Conspiracy theories is a national sport in Russia

        It took me a moment to realise which country was being described as well.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Conspiracy theories is a national sport in Russia

          Personally, I'd like to know which country is full of rationalists determined to credit only hypotheses that are well-supported by evidence. Or even a country with a substantial portion of Bayesian reasoners.

          Human beings are in general prone to believing unlikely things. That's the nature of the beast.

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Conspiracy theories is a national sport in Russia

            If the Antarctic counted as a country, then possibly there?

    2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy theories is a national sport in Russia

      I'm sorry, but which country is that? Jim Garrison, Oliver Stone, Mulder, and Sculley are curious to know.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy theories is a national sport in Russia

      Because it's not a national sport in America ?

      There is nothing in your post that hasn't been presented by American conspiracists. Please clarify.

  8. Wim Prest

    Working definition

    OFN

  9. David Pearce

    Jeanne Calments age has never been approached by anybody else verifiable since her death and that is very suspicious. The number of centenarians is soaring, but only 1 in 1000 of them reach 110 and only two people are alive over 115

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Facepalm

      You've just torpedoed your own conspiracy theory.

      There are two people currently known to be only 6 years younger, so why is 122 unbelievable?

      1. rcousine

        It's a serious outlier

        122 isn't quite unbelievable, but it's hard to believe.

        Here's a simple chart of oldest living people:

        http://www.grg.org/SC/SCChartsGraphs.html

        Calment is an utter outlier, and yes, outliers happen, but the mortality cliff at these ages is massive. Like, she's literally off the charts by a fair ways compared to any other supercenetarian. How unlikely? Well, one published stat is that of people who live to 100, only one in 1000 lives to 110. Solve for 122, and Calment becomes...unexpected.

        The second reason to doubt the Calment record is that many other supercenetarian records have been wrong, and supercenetarian claims may be clustered around...regions with bad birth records, and regions with relatively poor life expectancy and relatively high crime rates (greetings, Okinawa!).

        Is this the crime of the century? No. But if you're studying supercenetarians and trying to figure out what Calment means as a data point, "not real" is the parsimonious explanation.

  10. herman Silver badge
    Angel

    Older than god

    A woman is as old as she feels.

    Judging by her photos, she must have felt older than god.

    However, a man is as old as the woman he feels.

    Which also explains all the godly trysts with young virgins on earth, resulting in various "son's of god" through the ages, as duly documented in the Iliad and other more recent holy books.

  11. DeeCee

    Lies and bullshit is closest thing to any intellectual export that kleptocrat run gas station pretending to be a country has.

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      I resent that on behalf of Great Britain.

      We've been there since at least the Age of Thatcher.

  12. Petergwilson

    She famously said "I have only one wrinke and I'm sitting on it".

  13. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Could a claim for oldest human be disqualified...

    ...for taking life-enhancing drugs?

  14. Danny 2 Silver badge

    She gave up smoking when she was 117

    I can't believe she was on a voluntary health kick at 117. I bet she didn't take up jogging or Pilates. More probably all her descendants had died and the care home just mandated it for their own safety.

    If a smoker gets to a century then you should just let them smoke, maybe employee a nurse to hold their cigarettes for them.

    If you drop them they just go out. Makes smoking them like smoking a wet 1980s cigarette though. Plus adds fire retardants to the environment and your gut biome.

    I realise cigarettes are dangerous but I'm even less of a fan of flame retardants - at least give us a choice.

    I would give my left lung for one of the increasingly retrospectively 'Old Player Specials' fags than anything I've payed ten times the tax for recently.

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: She gave up smoking when she was 117

      I would guess that an establishment full of over-100s has a fair bit of Oxygen in tanks or plumbed through the walls, and that would add to the hazards of smoking.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. gnarlymarley Bronze badge

    Judging by the picture, I would say about 107 years old. The picture probably was not taken right at death, but maybe a few years earlier.but then I have seen some 50 year olds that looks like they are 80+.

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