July 24, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

117-year-old Greek woman who has grown new hair and teeth

In 1954, a story appeared in the Greek media about a 117-year-old woman who had seven new teeth, and the black hair that had grown back on her head replaced the old, gray hair. The story took place on the famous Greek island of Ikaria, whose inhabitants are famous for their longevity. At least that’s what the legend says.

The great-grandson of this legendary woman continues to tell this story today.

Icaria: the “blue zone” of longevity

Ikaria, a beautiful island located in the eastern Aegean that looks just like any other Greek island, but it has one a significant difference: people here live much longer than on the mainland or on other Greek islands.

Actually, the average life expectancy of the inhabitants of this island is ten years longerthan in the rest of Europe and the USA, and this is officially recorded. Approximately every third resident of Ikaria lives out up to ninety years, and almost 10% of the inhabitants of the island live to be 100 or more years old.

Ikaria, named after Icarus, a youth from Greek mythology who flew too close to the sun and fell into the sea, is one of the five so-called “blue zones” – this is the name of five regions of the world where life expectancy of people regularly exceeds the average.

Other regions are Sardinia, Okinawa, Japan, Nicoya, Costa Rica, and Loma Linda, California, USA.

117-year-old woman from Ikaria lived a long life despite her hard life

The woman in question, named Fani Gerali, lived in the village of Christos Raches in Ikaria and is said to have not only lived to be 117 years old, but looked beautiful at that age.

She remained so healthy and youthful that, according to legend, after 100 years, she began to grow new hair and teeth. Her new hair was black instead of gray, and she had grown seven new teeth. This added to her vivacity and youth.

A 1954 newspaper article tells of a 117-year-old woman who grew new teeth and her hair turned black as a youth.

According to her great-grandson, Gerali never looked her real age. She was talkative and continued gardening until her death, which was not for natural reasons. It is reported that in the garden she was stung by many bees, which caused her premature death.

Her life in the village of Christos Raches was very interesting socially as well, as she was surprisingly sociable and surrounded by peers, which is the norm for this island when most people reach such an advanced age. Because of Ikaria’s “Blue Zone” character, Gerali lived close to people ranging in age from 103 to 117!

These elderly residents of the island led a normal life, going to church every week and celebrating their birthdays with friends and families.

Gerali until old age had excellent eyesight and hearing. The Greek woman kept memories of her entire long life. Of course, many of the events were very difficult to forget, given all that she had to go through.

She was born in Asia Minor in 1837, married, had children, and was eventually widowed. Gerali was forced to flee Asia Minor in 1914 due to the brutal tyranny of the Greeks by the Ottoman Empire.

In 1914, Gerali moved to the island of Chios, where, at the age of 77 years old she was offered to marry a second time, but she refused. By a tragic accident, her son was killed in 1944 in Elefsin by German soldiers.

Gerali passed away in 1954 at the age of 117 due to numerous bee stings.

Although by our today’s standards her life seems marred by hardships and hardships, her old age seems to have been quite pleasant, long and wonderful.

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