List of people claimed to be immortal

List of people claimed to be immortal

This is a list of people claimed to be immortal. Please note that this list does not reference purely spiritual entities (spirits, gods, demons, angels), non-humans (monsters, extraterrestrials, elves), or artificial life (artificial intelligence, robots).

Historical, mythological, and religious immortals

This list comprises people claimed to achieve a deathless existence on Earth. This list does not contain those people who are supposed to have attained immortality through the typical means of a religion, such as a Christian in Heaven. It also does not include people whose immortality involves living in a place not on Earth, such as Heracles on Mount Olympus [While Mount Olympus actually exists, the Greeks understood a distinction between the Olympus of the Gods and the part that could be seen by humans.] or the Eight Immortals of Taoism in Mount Penglai. It also does not include people who were, according to their religion, became deities or actually were a deity the whole time, such as Jesus of Nazareth (who as part of the Trinity was also God) or Parashurama (who was, according to Hinduism, an avatar of Vishnu).

These lists are in chronological order, though some dates are approximate.

People who claimed to be immortal themselves

These people have all verifiably made claims of immortality, or at least lifespans of indefinite reach.

* Count of St Germain (d. 1784), a mysterious noble and alchemist. In his writings, he claimed to be centuries old along with other fanciful claims. Various occultic and religious organizations have adopted him, with some claiming he is alive today.
* Leonard "Live-Forever" Jones (1797–1868), an eccentric who ran for President of the United States in every election between the late 1840s and 1860s on a platform of immortality. He believed that mortality was simply a matter of poor morals, and with prayer anyone could live forever. [http://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/categories/C6]
* Alex Chiu (b. 1971), developer of a "Magnetic Immortality Device." He purports that his magnetic rings, if worn correctly every night, will allow anyone to live forever. [http://www.alexchiu.com/eternallife/look.htm]

Claimed to be immortal by others

Often the records are too few to determine if these people actually claimed immortality themselves, or even existed. However, significant sources they are claimed to be immortal by various religions and folk legends.

* Utnapishtim and his wife (antediluvian), who were granted immortality after surviving the Great Flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
* Melchizedek (18th century BC), a priest. According to some translations of Genesis: "Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he (Melchizedek) remains a priest forever." Some Christians believe he was a type of early Christ.
* Tithonus, who in Greek mythology was granted eternal life but not eternal youth.
* The Wandering Jew (b. 1st century BC), a Jewish shoemaker. According to legend, he taunted Jesus on his way to crucifixion. Jesus cursed him to "go on forever till I return." Thus, the Wandering Jew is to live until the second coming of Jesus.
* John the Apostle (AD 6-101), one of Jesus's followers. Some Mormons, in conjunction with their own scriptures, interpret the biblical scripture found at John 21:21-23 to mean that John will "tarry" or remain on the earth until the Second Coming. [ [http://www.freeread.com/ The Immortal] by JJ Dewey]
* The Three Nephites (Between AD 34 and 35), three men described in the Book of Mormon who are given power over death in order to fulfill their desire to minister among men until Jesus comes again. [ [http://scriptures.lds.org/en/3_ne/28 3 Nephi 28 ] ]
* Sir Galahad (dates for his life fall between the 2nd century and the 6th century), one of three Arthurian knights to find the Holy Grail, Galahad is the only one to have achieved immortality by it.
* Merlin (dates for his life fall between the 2nd century and the 6th century), some accounts have Merlin trapped by an enchantment under a rock, in a cave, or in a hidden palace, where he may still be alive.
* Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel (15th century AD), alchemists who were reputed in later manuscripts to have acquired immortality through the use of the Philosopher's stone.

Notable failed quests for immortality

* Gilgamesh (possibly reigned during the 26th century BC) after the death of his companion, Enkidu, Gilgamesh pursues immortality to avoid Enkidu's fate. Gilgamesh fails two tests and does not become immortal, realising instead that mortals attain immortality through lasting works of civilization and culture. Appropriately, Gilgamesh's story is considered the oldest story recorded.

Fictional immortals

The list is in chronological order for the first appearance of the fictitious character.
* John Melmoth ("Melmoth the Wanderer", 1820) Melmoth sells his soul to the devil in exchange for an extra 100 years of life.
* Dorian Gray (The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890) Gray was granted immortality after praying his painting would receive the marks of his age and of his sin. Died after attempting to destroy the portrait.
* Anton York (Conquest of Life, "Thrilling Wonder Stories" August 1937 by Eando Binder) Anton York was injected with a chemical formula that would halt his aging until the universe was double its current age. At that point he could presumably produce and drink a second dose, if he so desired. A series of Anton York stories were written which were later collected in the anthology Anton York, Immortal in 1965.
* Woodrow Wilson Smith, also known as Lazarus Long, "Methuselah's Children" 1941 by Robert Heinlein. Smith is the completion of a centuries-long eugenics experiment in breeding for longevity. He is mentioned in four other Heinlein novels, most notably Time Enough for Love.
* Vandal Savage (Green Lantern vol. 1 #10, Winter 1943) Caveman Vandar Adg was bathed in the radiation of a mysterious meteorite, granting him intellect and immortality. In subsequent years, he claims to have been or advised dozens of world leaders.
* Immortal Man (Strange Adventures #177, June 1965) Gaining immortality from the same meteorite that granted longevity to Vandal Savage, the Immortal Man instantaneously reincarnates when he dies.
* Conrad Nomikos (...And Call Me Conrad, 1966 by Roger Zelazny. Later expanded to the novel "This Immortal").
* Ra's al Ghul ("Batman #232", 1971) Ra's maintained an unnaturally long life through the use of natural phenomena known as Lazarus Pits.
* Casca Longinus ("", 1979) Casca is the Roman soldier who plunges his spear into the side of Jesus on the cross at Golgotha and is cursed to wander the world forever until the two should meet again.
* Wowbagger, the Infinitely Prolonged is an alien from Douglas Adams's Life, the Universe and Everything (1982) who was made immortal by "an unfortunate accident with an irrational particle accelerator, a liquid lunch and a pair of rubber bands". He has devoted his eternal life to the impossible task of insulting everyone in the Universe alphabetically.
* Raoul Lavallière ("né" Tibalt de Montrefort), in "The Dark Side of the Sun" (1983), is a 14C former Knight Templar with psychic powers. He can only die when the circumstances of a prophecy are fulfilled; he quickly recovers from other methods of killing him.
*Mr. Immortal ("Avengers West Coast" (Vol. 2) #46,1989) Mr. Immortal (A.K.A. Craig Hollis) is a mutant (possibly an Omega-level mutant) whose power is (as his name suggests) immortality. He is the leader and founder of the Great Lakes Avengers. Unlike other mutants, who are known as "homo superior", he has evolved beyond death, and become "homo supreme". His apparent destiny: to outlive everyone as the one true immortal until the end of the universe, to be revealed its final secret. Other immortal characters from Marvel Comics include Apocalypse,the Silver Surfer and Deadpool.
* Tory Alexander ("The Ancient Future", 1996) Through an elixir of sorts given to her by Taliesin, she achieves immortality thanks to the god-like gene in her DNA.
* Mitchell Shelley, the Resurrection Man (Resurrection Man #1, May 1997) Shelley was an unwilling nanotechnology test subject, who gained effective immortality since, although he can be killed, his "death" lasts no longer than a few minutes, whereon he is revived by "tektites" with a different superhuman power. (Similar powers to Immortal Man, whom Shelley was thought to be for a while. [ [http://www.mykey3000.com/cosmicteams/cosmic/f.html Cosmic Teams!] . Accessed March 3, 2008] )
* Enoch Root ("Cryptonomicon", 1999) Root, an alchemist, possesses an elixir which allows him to resurrect after death.
* Orochimaru ("Naruto", 1999) Orochimaru is a specialist in forbidden techniques pertaining to everlasting life. He is able to transfer his mind into the bodies of other people, causing them to assume his appearance. However, there is a limit to his abilities: he may only do so once in three years.
* Hidan (Naruto) Hidan is a member of the organization of villains in the Naruto universe (Akatsuki) and can never die, due to a curse that was set upon him. He was once beheaded by Asuma Sarutobi, but still alive and able to talk. His partner, Kakuzu, then sewed his head back onto his body, giving him back the control over his body. He was, although, neutralized by Shikamaru Nara, but has since sworn revenge.
* Kane (fantasy) A character of the sword and sorcery genre written of by Karl Edward Wagner. Kane is a left-handed man with red hair; cursed by a mad god he wanders the Earth for millennia adventuring.
* Jack Harkness from "Doctor Who" (2005) and "Torchwood", who became immortal after being resurrected by the power of the vortex.
* Trance Gemeni from Andromeda the avatar of the Tarn Vedra sun.
* Lo Pan. 800 year old warrior played by James Hong in John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China.
*Adam Monroe/ Takezo Kensei, a character in the popular television series Heroes. He has lived for nearly 400 years, taking part in events such as the Revolutionary War. He has married 10 times, outliving every wife, and has assumed a wide array of different names.

Fictional lists

As noted above, specific characters who as a class tend to be immortal such as vampires and robots are not listed individually. Lists of classes who as a group tend to be possibly immortal include:

* Vampire fiction
* List of fictional robots and androids
* List of "Highlander" characters, as the main characters of "Highlander" are immortals.
* Extraterrestrial life in popular culture, as some aliens are portrayed as immortal.
* Elves in Middle-earth, such as Elrond the Half-elven. ("The Hobbit", 1937, and "The Lord of the Rings".) Elves are immortal, and half-elves can choose mortality or immortality.

References


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