The ancients believed in a magical elixir, a potion that would grant what man most desired — eternal life.
Chinese emperors chased the dream by consuming long-lasting precious substances such as jade and gold, often with fatal effects.
Elizabeth Bathory, a 16th-century Transylvanian countess dubbed Lady Dracula, made an even more drastic attempt to conquer death, by bathing in the blood of young girls.
One infamous scientist, meanwhile, would inject himself with a concoction that contained dog semen, testicles and blood. At least he didn’t have to drink it, unlike those Jamaicans who followed their country’s secret recipe for longevity — tortoise scrotum soup.
Today, the quest to prolong human life indefinitely still obsesses the rich and powerful. Indeed, the head of internet giant Google’s multi-billion-dollar investment arm announced that he believes it is possible to live to 500.
‘We have tools in the life sciences to achieve anything you have the audacity to envision,’ said Bill Maris. ‘I just hope to live long enough not to die.’