5 Reasons This Man Probably Isn't 123 Years Old
For starters, Carmelo Flores Laura is a man
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2013 8:34 AM CDT
Carmelo Flores Laura, a native Aymara, speaks during an interview outside his home in the village of Frasquia, Bolivia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

(Newser) – It's the kind of story you really want to believe: According to Bolivia's public records, Carmelo Flores Laura turned 123 years old last month, making him the oldest living person ever documented. CNN, however, advises you take the news with a grain—or spoonful—of salt, this after it actually saw the government documents that establish Flores' July 16, 1890 birth date. It, along with KPCC, runs down five reasons why Flores is probably a good decade or two younger than is being claimed:

  1. Though Flores has a birth certificate and a national identity card bearing his birth date, neither are original. Bolivia didn't keep records of live births in 1890.
  2. In what CNN describes as a "red flag," Flores is a man. Gerontologist Stephen Coles (who actually looks into these claims for the Guinness Book of World Records) says the lion's share of supercentenarians are women. He notes that just two of the 57 people verified to having lived past 110 are male, with the oldest man on record having lived to 116.
  3. The Gerontology Research Group that Coles heads up tracked down what it says is Flores' baptismal certificate—which establishes his age as an impressive but not record-setting 107.
  4. He not only still walks at 123, but does so without a cane.
  5. His sole living child is 67—that's a pretty significant generation gap.
This supercentenarian male, however, has had his impressive age verified.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Oct 1, 2013 9:57 AM CDT
I think that it is very possible to live to be 123 years old but their should be some records of it if it were true. They should not have to question his age. It would be a blessing to someone to be able to live to be 123 and be able to walk without a cane, but personally I do not think that I would like to live to be 123 for many reasons.
Aug 20, 2013 10:44 PM CDT
I watched a program on the Science Channel the other night. It was about a man who lived to be 1000 years old with no end in sight. So science thinks it might be possible.
Aug 20, 2013 3:48 PM CDT
Carmelo Flores Laura is actually eighty six years old; he just had a rough childhood and it shows.