Be informed. Be challenged. Be inspired.

StrangeSights: New claim for world’s oldest man; proposing during a solar eclipse; and, music, not too fast, not too slow, in Chechnya

DAVID ADAMS provides a round-up of some stories on the odder side of life…

Peruvian Marcelino “Mashico” Abad smiles while celebrating his 124th birthday, as local authorities claim he might be the world’s oldest ever person, in Huanuco, Peru, on 5th April, 2024. PICTURE: Pension 65/Handout via Reuters

Peru’s Andean mountains may hold the secret to longevity and the world’s oldest ever person, if a new claim by state officials of a 124-year-old man born in 1900 are proven to be true. The country’s government has claimed that local resident Marcelino Abad from the central Peruvian region of Huanuco is 124, which would make him by a distance the oldest living person and even top the oldest ever independently verified human. “Among the tranquility of the flora and fauna of Huanuco, Marcelino Abad Tolentino or ‘Mashico’ developed a healthy way of life and inner peace, reflected in his good health and friendly personality,” the government said in a statement. “This allowed him, with resilience and skill, to overcome 12 decades of life and on April 5th he just blew out 124 candles.” Peruvian authorities say they are helping Abad apply to the Guinness World Records for independent verification. “Guinness World Records receives many applications from individuals who claim to be the oldest living person,” a spokesperson for the body said in a written statement to Reuters. Verifying the claim would involve official documents and other evidence being scrutinised by an expert team to “prove their achievement beyond doubt.” The Guinness World Records currently lists the oldest living man as a 111-year-old Briton John Tinniswood, who got the title this month after the death of a Venezuelan man who was 114. The oldest living woman is 117, while the oldest person ever verified reached 122. Abad, who was born in the small town of Chaglla, has lived off the radar until the Peruvian government identified him in 2019, securing him a government ID and pension. Celebrating his 124th birthday on 5th April, Abad says his secrets to vitality include a diet rich in fruits, as well in lamb meat, according to a statement issued by the pension program that Abad is part of. The centenarian also made a habit of chewing coca leaves, a tradition in Peru’s Andean communities. Abad now lives in a home for seniors, where for his birthday this month he was treated to a special celebration, complete with a birthday cake with a figurine in his likeness. – MARCO AQUINO and BRENDAN O’BOYLE, Lima, Peru/Reuters


A proposal takes place on a Delta Airlines flight during the solar eclipse. PICTURE: Screenshot/Reuters TV

• With all eyes on the sky, passengers aboard two Delta Airlines flights had a once-in-a-lifetime viewing party riding the total solar eclipse’s “path of totality” on Monday. It was an experience Neil Albstein said he won’t forget after proposing to his partner on the Delta flight. “The flight was such a special event. It seemed like I could never come up with anything else so special to propose to her, and I wanted it to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it just seemed perfect to combine it,” he told Reuters. Passengers wearing protective lenses glazed through both sides of the plane at the rare spectacle of the moon appearing as a dark orb creeping in front of the sun, briefly blocking out all but a brilliant halo of light, or corona, around the sun’s outer edge. About 32 million people in the United States lived within the path of totality, and federal officials predicted another five million people traveled to be there. Countless eclipse-watching events were being convened at bars, stadiums, fairgrounds, and parks along the path of totality. Reuters TV


Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, seen at night. PICTURE: lanarus/iStockphoto.

The Russian republic of Chechnya has reportedly banned music that it too fast or too slow, ruling that all music should be played at a tempo of between 80 and 116 beats per minute (which we’re informed is quite slow for modern music). The move was reportedly made on the order of Culture Minister Musa Dadayev with the agreement of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Dadayev was quoted as saying that Chechen music “conform to the Chechen mentality”. “Borrowing musical culture from other peoples is inadmissible,” he said. It’s been reported that artists have until 1st June to conform with the new rules. NPR report that among songs which don’t fit the tempo requirements are I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston (at 68 BPM too slow) and Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles (at 129 BPM too fast).



sight plus logo

Sight+ is a new benefits program we’ve launched to reward people who have supported us with annual donations of $26 or more. To find out more about Sight+ and how you can support the work of Sight, head to our Sight+ page.



We’re interested to find out more about you, our readers, as we improve and expand our coverage and so we’re asking all of our readers to take this survey (it’ll only take a couple of minutes).

To take part in the survey, simply follow this link…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.