I know it's not usually considered much of a compliment to say someone looks good for their age, but can we agree to make an exception for Jiroemon Kimura? Because the Kyoto, Japan resident really does look surprisingly well -- considering he's one hundred and fifteen years old.
Yes, you read that right: Mr. Kimura is 115. He's now officially considered to be the oldest man in the entire world, after Dina Manfredini of Johnston, Iowa passed away on December 17th.
Kimura's age has been acknowledged by Guinness World Records, and he's only the third man on record to reach 115. As for what he attributes his longevity to, the answer may be a little surprising. According to Mr. Kimura, the secret to living a long (long, long, LONG!) existence may lie in being exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Okay, he didn't actually say that everyone should throw away their SPF sunscreen, or invest in a fountain-of-youth tanning bed. We all know that too much sun accelerates the effects of aging (let Tanning Mom be your cautionary tale!) and can lead to cancer.
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But Mr. Kimura does say that while he isn't sure what the secret to old age might be, he thinks his own long life might be thanks in part to the sun above him:
I am always looking up towards the sky. That is how I am.
Hmmm. Maybe it has less to do with staring directly into retina-burning sunlight, and more to a positive, curious outlook?
At 115, Kimura has 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. He was born when Queen Victoria was still on the throne, and he was six years old when the Wright brothers flew the first plane. When the World Wide Web was first being created, he was 93!
He's also been learning English recently, and says he's fond of red bean cake and rice. So perhaps the real key to living a long and healthy life is to keep your mind active, and keep your diet simple. (Great, there goes my Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Cheetos habit.)
Here's a video of Jiroemon Kimura, the world's oldest man:
Why do you think some people live so much longer than others? Healthy living, or genetic Lotto?
Image via The Telegraph