WTF Fun Fact 12638 – Drinking Gold To Stay Young

Humans have always been obsessed with living forever. And, as you may have guessed, we’ve continued to fail.

The practice of drinking cold goes all the way back to ancient China and Egypt but came back into high fashion in the 16th-century in France. Members of the court of King Henry II tried different tonics with gold to reduce wrinkles and stave off death, but, of course, it killed many of them.

De Poitiers was very influential, and despite her choice of cocktail ingredients, she did live to be 66. According to Atlas Obscura: “Brantôme, the French historian, once wrote about meeting de Poitiers six months before she passed away at the age of 66. Though he admitted to not knowing much about the ‘potable gold and other drugs’ she took daily, which contributed to her ‘fine appearance,’ he quickly added: ‘I believe that if this lady had lived another hundred years she would not have aged … in her face, so well-composed it was.'”

Gold drinking was perhaps even more popular in the medieval period after an alchemist devised a method for dissolving solid gold into a liquid. The drinkable gold was called aurum potabile (or aurum potable), and it was advertised as a medicinal drink that could cure everything from epilepsy to manic episodes.

One of the oddest recipes comes from Pope John XXI, who, in In 1578, wrote a recipe for an elixir of youth that included “taking gold, silver, iron, copper, iron, steel, and lead filings, then placing that mixture ‘in the urine of a virgin child on the first day,’ then white wine, fennel juice, egg whites, in a nursing woman’s milk, in red wine, then again in egg whites, in that order, for the following six days,” according to Atlas Obscura.

Bottoms up! – WTF fun facts

Source: “Drinking Gold Was a Grisly Anti-Aging Trend of 16th-Century France” — Atlas Obscura


WTF Fun Fact 12443 – Immortal Billionaires

You know what they say about money – “You can’t take it with you.” That saying is supposed to remind us to live our lives and discourage us from hoarding money since it won’t do any good after death.

But what if you have a fortune and you really can’t bear to think of the world without you? Well, if you’re a tech billionaire, you invest some of that money in your immortality.

There are multiple projects underway to study human immortality and extend life led by the likes of Jeff Bezos, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, and Russian Internet tycoon Dmitry Itskov. Now, not all of them want to live forever, exactly, but they do think that extending life by a decade or so sounds just about right.

We suppose being able to afford everything in life tends to make a person enjoy it more and want to keep the party going. But is it ethical? Will these billionaires share this tech with the rest of us, or will it only be for the rich?

Can the planet really handle a bunch of immortal billionaires? – WTF fun facts

Source: “The Men Who Want to Live Forever” — The New York Times