A chain-smoking Indonesian man who says he was born in 1870 has finally reached the goal he announced to reporters worldwide last summer — "All I want is to die."
Sodimejo, or Mbah Gotho (or Ghoto), had an Indonesian ID card that claimed his date of birth was Dec. 31, 1870. Indonesia didn't start recording such things until three decades later, but authorities assured the BBC that Sodimejo's papers were valid.
Sodimejo died in his village of Cemeng in Indonesia's Central Java region. The Daily Mail says his funeral was held Monday.
Sodimejo was hospitalized April 12 because of deteriorating health but insisted on returning home six days later, his grandson Suryanto told the BBC.
"Since he came back from the hospital, he only ate spoonfuls of porridge and drank very little," Suryanto said.
The current, verifiable world's oldest human is Violet Mosses Brown, comparably a baby at 117 years of age. If Sodimejo's documents could be verified, he easily outlived the "verified" oldest person ever, Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment. She was 122 years and 164 days old when she died 20 years ago.
Sodimedo's age is drawing skepticism from experts: Acclaimed genetics researcher Jan Vijg says the maximum lifespan is about 125 years.
"If somebody seriously told me he or she had just met a extraterrestrial being who immediately thereafter flew back into outer space, I would probably listen politely, but not believe a word of it," Vijg told USA TODAY. "This is exactly how I feel about people reporting this kind of thing.
"There is a reason we have meticulously researched databases with confirmed record oldest humans, and the oldest one, I believe, is now 117."
In an interview with the The Jakarta Post last year, Sodimejo said he could remember watching the opening ceremony of a sugar factory built in Sragen in 1880.
“Children in my village usually helped their parents plow paddy fields from the age of 10. This is my reason" for believing his age, he told the Post.
His grandson said Sodimejo didn't even need a walking stick until about two years ago. Suryanto said his grandfather ate pretty much anything and was a heavy smoker his entire life. He never suffered a serious illness either.
Sodimejo, who was allegedly born the year construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began, outlived four wives and spent his final years listening to the radio and smoking.
“Life is only a matter of accepting your destiny wholeheartedly," Sodimejo told the Post. "I have wanted to die for a long time. My wives, children and siblings all have passed away, but Gusti Allah (God) has blessed me with a long life. I have to live my life patiently and accept my destiny."