An alert and chatty Italian woman, Emma Morano, on Tuesday celebrates her 117th birthday as the last known person alive who was born in the 19th century. Born November 29, 1899, she is the world’s oldest living person and the secret to her longevity appears to lie in eschewing usual medical wisdom.

“I eat two eggs a day, and that’s it. And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth,” she told AFP in an interview last month in her room in Verbania, a town in northern Italy on Lake Maggiore. On a marble-topped chest of drawers stands proudly the Guinness World Records certificate declaring her to be the oldest person alive. READ MORE