September 17, 2009

Is this Buddhist monk the world's oldest man?

Keep sitting: it might make you live longer.

Thai monk Luang Phu Supha is celebrating his birthday today—his 115th birthday, he says, but this is up for debate. His birth certificate says 1896, but he believes he was two years old at the time. A 113-year-old American, Walter Bruening, also lays claim to the title of world's oldest man.

Luang Phu Supha lives at the temple on Phuket where he is abbot. The site is, appropriately enough, named after him.

The monks now intend to invite Guinness records representatives to verify their abbot's claim.

He puts his longevity down to eating less, speaking less and always speaking the truth.

Luang Phu Supha seems particularly serious about eating less and only consumes nine mouthfuls at each meal as well as avoiding spices and salts.

He is, however, partial to khao neaw kaew, a desert made of sticky rice with sugar.

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