The Oldest Living Person Reveals Their Secret To Longevity

The world's oldest living person just celebrated her birthday this Sunday. According to Junko Tanaka, her great-grandmother Kane Tanaka just turned a monumental 119 years old on January 2 (via CNN). The milestone puts her that much closer to becoming the oldest person that has ever lived. That honor is currently held by the late Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122 years old, per USA Today.

Kane was born in 1903 in Fukuoka, Japan. Not surprisingly, the world was a very different place. There hadn't been one world war, let alone two, China still had an emperor, and the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic was not to take place for another eight years. In contrast, Kane today is a viral sensation, receiving birthday greetings on Twitter from admirers around the world via an account set up to document her life. 

Though Kane has not personally revealed her own advice for long and healthy living, her family members did reveal what she has told them keeps her young.

The secret to longevity is not what you think

Kane's family revealed what exactly keeps the 119-year-old going, and their answer was surprising, to say the least. "Doing math and remaining curious," they said, according to CNN. Kane's great-granddaughter also added that she was very "forward-thinking" and enjoyed "living in the present" instead of dwelling on her memories of the past.

That said, for those who aren't particularly fond of algebra or calculus, there are other pieces of advice on living a long life. For example, the world's oldest man in the world is currently Saturnino de la Fuente García, a 112-year-old Spaniard. He claimed that the secret to his lifespan has been "a quiet life" and a clean conscience. "Do not hurt anyone," he added in his birthday press release, per Guinness World Records.

Likewise, Emilio Flores Márquez died this past August after making it to 113 years old. He offered similar sentiments, suggesting that a key to a long life was being surrounded by love. "My father raised me with love, loving everyone. He always told me and my siblings to do good, to share everything with others. Besides, Christ lives in me," he told the Guinness Book of World Records at the time.