10,000 years ago, the average human life lasted just over 30 years, but then a hundred years ago that number was up to 50 years, and if you were born in the last few decades in the developed world then your life expectancy is about 80 years on average. But this calculation is made on assuming that no major breakthrough occurs during your lifetime and we all know chances of this are fairly low of course.
Why we do Age?
If we are into this topic of aging we should know that Why we do age? Why our bodies Decay? Why is that? We need to dig into some biology for this.
The reason is there is a fundamental cellular mechanism at the heart of aging. Do we age at the macroscopic level because our cells are aging at the microscopic level? —To a great extent, yes. There’s only a finite number of times a cell will divide.
Hayflick a biologist made a key discovery when He was studying normal human cells and found out that they can only divide a finite number of times. On average, it’s about 50 times. Beyond that limit, the cell becomes senescent, which means it’s an aged cell. It can divide no longer. And when our cells age, we age with them too. It lives for a little while but it’s the accumulation of these senescent cells in our bodies that leads to aging on the macroscopic scale.
So it’s as though cells have this little timer inside them that tells them when to stop dividing. But how do they know, and what is that timer? Telomeres are like how your shoelaces have, you know, a little bit of plastic at the end to stop them from fraying.
You can see as time passes, plastic decays and at the end there is no plastic left. Telomeres are just like these, they keep on decaying as they divide and at the end there is no telomere left.
But for chromosomes? they keep the chromosome together and they stop it from sticking to other chromosomes. So every time a cell divides, it loses some of the telomeres. They estimate about 200 base pairs. And if you are thinking why it just can’t continue, then its answer is because it’s mechanics just work like that. This is how we are made and our cells work.
Longest Living Human
The world record for the world’s longest living person belongs to a French woman Jeanne Calment, she lived for about 122 years. Right now, at this very moment, there are only 37 people alive who were born in the 1800’s. Those 37 people have lived in three different centuries. But, as medical knowledge expands and our understanding of biology improves, people are living longer, and longer. In fact, scientists believe that, based on statistics, the first person who will ever live to be 150 has already been born. It could be one of you, who knows.
Biological Immortal Animals
Humans are want to achieve immortality and there are hundreds of researches going onto get to this point. This may seem nonsense to some people but there are animals that have biological immortality. These types of animals have never been observed to actually age. It means they keep on growing and stops at a certain age, No progress or decaying after that. An example of it is Hydra, Hydra can only die because of accidents, disease, or predators or something else. Its cells just don’t age. So it never dies due to aging. It’s appearance and structure remains the same through the time it lives. Just like Hydras, Lobsters also keep on getting bigger and stops at a certain time, they just die from other causes.
Thus it’s not practically impossible for a living being to live forever or stop the aging process but till now we don’t know whether Humans can achieve immortality. It’s very unlikely but who knows.
Oldest Living Tree
The world’s oldest living tree has been calculated to be living for about 4,600 years. It’s called the Methuselah Tree and it exists somewhere in this forest (image below). Government officials won’t actually release its exact location to protect it from vandalism, but it’s out there. For safety, purposes and to save it from evil people they don’t release it’s exact location.
It is somewhere in this Forest, Methuselah grove
Over the past hundred years, developments in medicine science have increased human lifespan more than we could have imagined, We have found cures of diseases which we could ever imagine. We can only expect that the next hundred years will bring similarly incredible results. I’m not sure where or how they will take place, but you can bet that your life expectancy today will not be the actual age at which you die. Thus may be your Life Expectancy is about 80 years now but who knows that you may die on Hundred or even that guy who would live 150 years and till now the longest age you can expect for yourself is 150 years.