A short TikTok of a monk from Thailand has gone viral on the app after rumors sparked that the frail man was 163 years old.
Luang Pho Yai’s actual age has not been confirmed as the elderly monk’s birth certificate could not be verified, but most likely, according to comments, the man is actually around 109 years of age.
The video has garnered 89.1 million views since it was first posted by his granddaughter, Auyary KH, to her TikTok account after he broke his hip in January 2022 and was sent to Dan Khun Thot hospital in Thailand.
Since the first video was posted, Luang Pho Yai (also referred to as Luang Ta in posts) has recovered and has been able to do light exercise. Users who were shocked and surprised by his appearance shared the video, and it rapidly gained attention online.
The page currently has over 766k followers and 16.2 million likes, but not everyone who sees the videos of the ancient monk has kind things to say. Fortunately, there are many others who have a more positive outlook, amazed at the monk’s longevity.
In a response to one of the many disrespectful comments calling the elderly monk a walking corpse, Auyary KH video-replied with the caption (translated and edited for clarity):
[He is] not a corpse .. Let’s have some respect for Luang Ta. If you don’t like it, please scroll past and don’t comment anything like this 🥺”
Some have speculated, without clear proof according to Snopes, that the Thai monk has gone through the process of self-mummification, also known as shoukushibutsu amongst Buddhist monks in Japan.
The practice is very rarely actually observed, wherein monks deliberately dehydrate themselves and eat a low-fat diet, and then are buried in a pine box to meditate until they pass away.
Currently, the oldest person alive in the world is Tanaka Kane from Fukuoka, Japan. She was born on January 2, 1903 and is currently 119 years old. The next-oldest person is Lucile Randon of France, who turned 118 on February 11.
The oldest (verified) person to live was Jeanne Louise Calment from France. She was born on February 21, 1875, and died at 122 years old on August 5, 1997.