Mankind has long been fascinated with the pursuit of prolonging our life. The idea of living longer or even gaining immortality has featured in legends and has over the centuries been the obsession of countless mystics, philosophers, doctors, authors, and great thinkers. Indeed the desire to evade death and escape our own imminent mortality has consumed us since time unremembered. Yet as far as we have come along with our vast medical technology and advanced civilization, there linger the question, are we even meant to be able to attain the expansive lifespans we yearn for? Do we even have the potential within us to cheat the inexorable approach of aging, deterioration, and death? Do we have some insurmountable, built-in limit to our longevity or is it essentially without borders? In recent years this has become a hot topic of debate, with researchers clashing on the topic of what our bodies’ capacity for longer lifespans is and just how far we can realistically push beyond our mortality. In order to look into the possibility of greatly prolonged lifespans it is important to first consider what the known maximum lifespan of humans has been estimated to be. There have indeed been incredible milestones set for longevity in humans, with the oldest confirmed person to have ever lived being a French woman named Jeanne Calment (1875-1997), who lived to the impressive age of 122. Others joining the ranks of some of the oldest humans who have ever lived are Emma Morano, of Italy (1899 –2017) who lived to the ripe old age of 117 years and 137 days, Susannah Mushatt Jones (1899 – 2016), who lived to be 116 and is notable for having done so while maintaining an eyebrow raising habit of eating bacon every day, as well as Ellen “Dolly” Gibb, of North Bay, Canada, who has lived to be 112 .
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