According to the World Health Organization, the average human lifespan in 2015 was roughly 71.4 years. But what if we told you that there might be no known limit to how long a human can actually live?
That's what scientists at McGill University have found in a new study on the longest-living individuals.
The study, which was published in the journal Nature, analyzed the lifespan of the longest-living people from the USA, the UK, France and Japan for each year since 1968. Based on the data, researchers said that they found no evidence for such a limit for how long we can live — and that even if there is a maximum, it would seem that we have yet to reach it.
It's not so much that human lifespans are completely limitless, but more that we don't actually know whether there is a limit, so it's premature to accept that there really is a maximum lifespan.
"It was reasonable that when everybody lived to 50 that the very long lived, for whatever reason—genetics or luck—would make it to 80," Siegfried Hekimi, professor of genetics at McGill University in Canada, told Time. "If people live on average to 80 or 90, like they do now, then the very long lived make it to 110 or 120. So if the average lifespan keeps expanding, that would mean the long-lived would live even longer, beyond 115 years."
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