Scientists believe there is no known limit for how long we can live

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Death is still pretty much inevitable, but a recent study from McGill University suggests that humans don't have to just die for dying's sake. In fact, scientists weren’t able to detect a clear age limit at all.

A team of biologists examined the lifespans of the longest-living people in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and France. They studied the oldest individuals in each of these populations from 1968 to present, and found that our bodies might not have a fixed expiration date.

"We just don't know what the age limit might be. In fact, by extending trend lines, we can show that maximum and average lifespans could continue to increase far into the foreseeable future," Siegfried Hekimi, a biologist and part of the study, said in a release.

In modern times, it does seem like people are living life to new limits. Most children born in 1900 didn't make it past age 50, according to the National Institute on Aging, but life expectancies are much higher in the developed world these days. In Japan, for example, the average life expectancy at birth is 84 — and in the U.S., it's roughly 79, World Bank data suggests.

This graph from the World Bank shows the average world life expectancy at birth, plus how it's rapidly changed from about 52 in 1960 to nearly 72 in 2015. But although this graph uses global data, individual countries vary significantly on their average life expectancy at birth.
This graph from the World Bank shows the average world life expectancy at birth, plus how it's rapidly changed from about 52 in 1960 to nearly 72 in 2015. But although this graph uses global data, individual countries vary significantly on their average life expectancy at birth. World Bank

117-year-old Emma Martina Luigia Morano is one example of someone who lived an incredibly long life. Morano died in April 2017, but not before being named the oldest living person by Guinness World Records. Born in 1899 and from Italy, her lifespan would likely be inconceivable centuries ago.

Emma Martina Luigia Morano describes her life on her 117th birthday in a Reuters report. Reuters/YouTube

"Three hundred years ago, many people lived only short lives," Hekimi said in the release. "If we would have told them that one day most humans might live up to 100, they would have said we were crazy."