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  • Hey, Vsauce, Michael here, and today we are going to talk about time, specifically, how

  • much time we have. What's the oldest a person can ever be? Well, the world record for the

  • world's longest living person belongs to Jeanne Calment, a French woman who lived to be 122.

  • Right now, at this very moment, there are only 37 people alive who were born in the

  • 1800's. Those 37 people have lived in three different centuries. But, as medical knowledge

  • expands and our understanding of biology improves, people are living longer, and longer. In fact,

  • scientists believe that, based on statistics, the first person who will ever live to be

  • 150 has already been born- it could be one of you. But, according to the math, it's probably

  • someone who was born last year.

  • Here's the thing- as humans get older, the likelihood of them dying increases, but there

  • are some types of animals who have what is called Negligible Senescence, also known as

  • biological immortality, and these types of animals have never been observed to actually

  • age. Animals, like the Hydra, can only die because of accidents, disease, or predators.

  • The world's oldest living individual tree has clocked in at more than 4,600 years old.

  • It's called the Methuselah Tree and it exists somewhere in this forest. Government officials

  • won't actually release its exact location to protect it from vandalism, but it's out

  • there.

  • The lifespan of an organism can be even longer than that if you include clonal colonies.

  • For instance, these Quaking Pines all look like individual trees, but they're actually

  • all clones of one genetic code. They all share a root system, and the root system continues

  • to make more trees, meaning that these trees are all part of the same organism, and experts

  • have calculated, based on the roots system, that this one, male Quaking Pine has been

  • around for at least 80,000 years.

  • But, let's get back to humans, and rather than talking about how is, let's talk about

  • how time feels. Intense moments of your life are remembered as lasting much longer than

  • times that were relatively dull. Psychologists say that the reason for this is that our brains

  • take deeper, and richer memories of events that are novel, or events that are intense,

  • than ones that aren't.

  • When your experiences are intense and novel, you're not remembering more things about it,

  • but you are making more copies. Rather than just making normal memories, during stress

  • the amygdala gets involved and also remembers things, and many people believe that is why

  • intense moments are remembered as lasting longer.

  • This phenomenon becomes quite mind-blowing on a macro-scale. Think of it this way: when

  • you are a one-year-old baby, one year represents 100 percent of your life, but when your turn

  • two years old, that second year was only half your life, and the next year you live through

  • is only a third of your life, and by the time you turn 80, one year only represents an 80th

  • of your life. Those percentages are important because they may explain why your childhood

  • feels like it took so long, but as you get older, the years seem to fly by.

  • You have more novel experiences when you're young- you first learn a language, you first

  • see your mother, you first learn to walk, you have your first kiss- these are all deeply,

  • and richly remembered by your brain, and so, later on, it feels as if they took longer

  • to happen.

  • Now, here's what's really mind-blowing. Let's look at a graphical representation of the

  • percentage of your life that each successive year is. The first year is 100 percent, the

  • second year is only half, the third year is a third, and so-on will go all-the-way out

  • 'til 80. Now, using this representation, under this model, when you turn 80 years old and

  • look back at your life, the point that feels like the middle isn't your 40's, it's your

  • early 20's.

  • The good news here is the more novel things you do, and things you see, and places you

  • visit, and people you meet, the slower time feels, and the more rich it feels. So, go

  • out there and do something cool, do something weird, do something new- subscribe to Vsauce

  • if you haven't already! And, as always, thanks for watching.

Hey, Vsauce, Michael here, and today we are going to talk about time, specifically, how

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How Old Can We Get?

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    ChironLi posted on 2013/09/24
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