The story of the centenary man that shocks and confuses the web has its own truth

Luang Pho Yai, a popular Thai Buddhist monk, died on 22 March after gaining worldwide popularity through videos posted on the TikTok platform with his niece and great-niece. 

The videos showed his gentler and more fragile side, but also generated numerous false claims about his religious identity and practice. 

Despite this, the updates on his health posted by his granddaughter received millions of views. After her death, memorial and funeral rites videos were posted. Many praised the monk's kindness, while others criticised the granddaughter for posting videos of her ailing grandfather. 

Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, with about 40,000 Buddhist temples and almost 300,000 Buddhist monks.

photo scrrenshot video TikTok
The truth about the Buddhist monk
A Thai Buddhist monk who became a viral character thanks to videos posted on the social media platform TikTok showing him with his granddaughter and great-granddaughter died on 22 March 2022 at the age of 109. His gentle demeanour, frail appearance and age helped propel the popularity of the videos.
photo scrrenshot video TikTok
The false rumors that have gone viral
The video clips also quickly generated a number of false claims, including that the monk was 163 years old, that was a 399-year-old woman and that she was undertaking the Japanese practice of 'sokushinbutsu', which refers to self-mummification.
photo scrrenshot video TikTok
The period in the hospital
Videos posted by the monk's niece, Auy Auyaray, recounted on TikTok the time he was in hospital after Luang Pho Yai broke his hip in January. In the videos, the niece provided updates on her health, suggesting that he was getting better in February and early March. The videos received millions of views, including one in which the monk interacted with his great-granddaughter in her hospital bed, which received nearly 188 million views.
photo scrrenshot video TikTok
Granddaughter continues to post videos
Despite the monk's death, his granddaughter continues to post videos about life in Luang Pho Yai on her TikTok account, 'auyary13'. With the footage, she intends to keep the memory of her deceased grandfather alive.
photo scrrenshot video TikTok
He was not the oldest person in the world
At the time of his death Luang Pho Yai was 109 years old. He would have turned 110 this year on 13 April. French nun Lucile Randon, known as Sister Andre, was the oldest known living person in the world at 118, after Kane Tanaka of Japan died in April 2022 at the age of 119. But Lucile Randon also died. January 2023. By contrast, the oldest living person verified by the Guinness World Record was Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment, who died at the age of 122 in 1997.
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