WTF Fun Fact 12985 – World’s Oldest Siblings (Combined Age)

Twelve siblings in Spain’s Gran Canaria (in the Canary Islands) have been granted the new record for their combined age. The world’s oldest siblings (in terms of combined age) were 1,058 years and 249 days old as of the moment their record was confirmed.

That’s A LOT of family reunions.

Earning the record for oldest siblings

The family said in a statement that “It all started as a joke during a family reunion in June. Then, after seeing a newspaper article titled ’12 siblings count more than 1000 years,’ we started gathering information and reached out to Guinness World Records.”

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Hernández-Pérez family lives in the town of Moya, on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. lives a very special family.

Their record is for the highest combined age of 12 living siblings, and they surpassed the previous group by a whopping 16 years!

The Hernández-Pérez siblings had been around for a total of 1,058 years 249 days as of September 28, 2022.

One big, happy family

Parents Modesto Hernández and Martina Pérez raised their family in Moya, and all 12 children have spent their entire lives there. Their seven sons and five daughters range in age from 76 and 98 years old.

The siblings are spaced pretty evenly apart:

Jose (b. 1924)
Alejandro (b. 1926)
Carmen (b. 1928)
Juan (b. 1929)
Rosario (b. 1930)
Amanda (b. 1932)
Modesto (b. 1934)
Angela (b. 1936)
Francisco (b. 1938)
Gloria (b. 1941)
Miguel (b. 1943) 
Luis (b. 1946)

The siblings’ ages have been confirmed and notarized by a local official.

Family pride

According to the Guinness Book of World Records (cited below): “The family is always talking about the record in their group chat, or sharing anecdotes on the record. The accolade had a positive impact on their lives, and further cemented their bond.

They believe their city is better for having so many large and long-lived family units.

“…other than the great pride and joy that the family found in breaking a world record, they also hope that it will be ‘a recognition and homage for all those families in our city (and, more in general, in the island) that counted 8 or more siblings. Those families fought and sacrificed a lot to improve our present society and life,’ they said.”

Their memories obviously go back to many decades, and life has changed dramatically over their livetimes:

“Among the difficulties of the 30s, 40s and 50s, there was no technology, no public transport and very few doctors,” the siblings recalled. “We had to walk several miles for food and school, and always by foot.”

The siblings recalled working in the fields, helping out in the neighborhood, the home births of their siblings, and plenty of parties during which each child played an instrument for entertainment.

The D’Cruz family of Pakistan previously held the record for combined sibling age. WTF fun facts

Source: “12 siblings break record with a combined age of 1,058 years” — Guinness Book of World Records

WTF Fun Fact 12909 – The Land Animal That Lived The Longest

This is something that will make you appreciate how our modern world is still so, so young. The longest-lived creatures are older than any of us, and most were or are older than our desire or ability to record their age for posterity. That said, we do have records of the land animal that lived the longest that we can properly verify. Other animals may have lived longer, but we don’t have reliable ways to prove it.

The radiated tortoise – one of the longest-lived animals

When it comes to sea creatures, we’re even more clueless as to age, and we endanger them by trying to find out. But it’s a bit easier with land animals, especially tortoises since they don’t move very fast.

As far as things we can verify are concerned, a radiated tortoise from Madagascar named Tu’i Malila is the longest-lived land animal. And here’s another fun fact – all its life, Tu’i Malila was thought to be a male. Upon her death, a proper examination was conducted, and it was determined she was female. (Some tortoises obviously don’t have obvious sex characteristics.)

The story of Tu’i Malila

Tu’i Malila means “King” Malila in the Tongan language and records show that Captain James Cook gave her to the royal family of Tonga shortly after her birth in 1777. She stayed in the royal family’s care her whole life until her death in 1965.

The radiated tortoise (a classification that has nothing to do with radiation but rather the pattern on their shells) is now preserved and on display at the Tongan National Center on the island of Tongatapu.

Other “oldest” animals

However, there is some disagreement over what counts as the oldest living animal. Some argue that an Aldabra giant tortoise from India named Adwaita lived to be around 255.

This year (in January 2022) the keepers of a giant tortoise named Jonathan have convinced the Guinness Book of World Records that the animal from St. Helena turned 190.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “The King of Tonga” — The Good Turtle Blog

WTF Fun Fact 12632 – The Oldest Tattoo Artist

Buscalan Village, Kalinga, is in the north of the Philippines, and despite having no cell or internet service, it’s an incredibly popular tourist destination. That’s because people make pilgrimages of a sort to see a 105-year-old tattoo artist named Fang-od Oggay. She’s been practicing her native province’s tribal tattooing method.

According to Atlas Obscura, “She is known worldwide as a living legend and the last tribal tattoo artist to hold the title of Mambabatok—the name given to traditional tattooists by the Kalinga ethnic group for thousands of years.”

Oggay is the master of the technique, an art that used to belong only to men. But seeing her talent at an early age, her father taught her the technique at age 15, and she’s been tattooing ever since. She’s at the head of a movement to keep the Butbut tribe’s tradition of hand-tap tattooing alive. And all of her apprentices are females.

Oggay uses citrus thorned to prick the skin. They come from either calamansi or a pomelo tree branch and get threaded into a bamboo reed. The ink is made of charcoal and water and wiped onto the thorn, which is tapped into the skin using a 12-inch bamboo hammer.

That’s pretty hardcore.

But the tattoos used to be for Butbut tribal head-hunters and male warriors as a symbol of their bravery. The more tattoos, the more heads you had taken in war, so a warrior’s goal would often be to have their entire bodies tattooed. The last warrior to get such a tattoo got his in 2002. Times have changed.

But Oggay is still tattooing. Head-hunting might not be a socially acceptable behavior anymore, but that doesn’t mean the tattoo art should fade away. But the tradition will be carried on by women.

Atlas Obscura says: “Oggay was the first female tattoo artist in Kalinga. But she may not be the last Mambabatok. Over time there has been a shift, with young women taking up the ancient tradition. Through tattooing, they are economically supporting the whole village.”

– WTF fun facts

Source: “A 105-Year-Old Tattoo Artist Is Teaching Girls to Ink for Independence” — Atlas Obscura