A 123-year-old man may be oldest living person on this planet. Spanish speaking Bolivian Carmelo Flores Laura was born when the first professional baseball game was played, when there were only 43 states in America, and when the first U.S. edition of Sherlock Holmes was published. The year? 1890.
Assuming Bolivia’s public records are accurate, the illiterate herder leading a hermit’s life has lived over twelve decades, reports Newsmax on Aug. 16.
According to The Associated Press, “Flores lives in a straw-roofed hut with a dirt floor in an isolated hamlet near Lake Titicaca at an elevation of 13,100 feet, is illiterate, speaks no Spanish, and has no teeth.”
Carmelo’s face looks like something out of science fiction – darkened with thick leathery skin, beady, sunken eyes and curls of random whiskers.
“I see a bit dimly. I had good vision before. But I saw you coming,” Carmelo told a group of AP reporters, who had to speak directly into the aged man’s ear.
Flores hobbles, but doesn’t use a cane and doesn’t wear glasses. His lip bulges as he sucks on the coca leaf – a mild stimulant that subdues hunger, a common Bolivian habit.
As you can imagine, his memory is failing, and he estimates his age within a decade or so.
“I should be about 100 years old or more,” Flores said.
Update: CNN reported approximately a week after this story broke that our Bolivian herder here is not 123 years old. His birth certificate was not original.