The Indonesian man who claimed to be 146 years old – the longest living human ever – has died in his village in Central Java. According to his papers, Sodimedjo, also known as Mbah Ghoto (grandpa Ghoto), was born in December 1870.
But Indonesia only started recording births in 1900 – and there have been mistakes before. Yet officials told the BBC his papers were valid, based on documents he provided and interviews with him. He was taken to hospital on 12 April because of deteriorating health. Six days later he insisted on checking out to return home.
“Since he came back from the hospital, he only ate spoonfuls of porridge and drank very little,” his grandson Suyanto told the BBC. “It only lasted a couple of days. From that moment on to his death, he refused to eat and drink.” When asked about the secret of his longevity, Mbah Ghoto told the BBC last year that patience was key and that he had “a long life because I have people that love me looking after me”.
A heavy smoker until the end, he outlived four wives, 10 siblings and all his children. In his village, he was a local hero famous for telling great stories about the wars against Japan and the Dutch colonisers. Grandson Suryanto said his grandfather was buried on Monday morning in a local cemetery plot he bought several years ago. A tombstone that had sat beside his house for many years was placed above the grave.“He didn’t ask much. Before he died, he just wanted us, his family, to let him go,” his grandson said.
If independently verified, his age would make Grandpa Ghoto older than French centenarian Jeanne Calment, who was 122 when she died, and is considered the longest living human in recorded history.