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Violet Mosse Brown, World’s Oldest Person, Dies at 117

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In April 2017, 117-year-old Violet Mosse Brown inherited the title of Oldest Living Person following the death of fellow 117-year-old Emma Morano, who was "the world's last living link to the 19th century" (as she was born in 1899).

According to the Jamaica Observer, Brown—who was affectionately known as “Aunt V”—passed away at the Fairview Medical Centre in Montego Bay at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Friday. Her death was announced on Twitter via Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s prime minister, who included a photo of him with Brown when he last visited her at her home.

While other centenarians have attributed their longevity to everything from exercise to lack of exercise, Brown—who was born on March 10, 1900—claimed her secret to a long life was hard work and an unbreakable faith.

“I was a cane farmer,” Brown told the AP in April. “I would do every work myself. I worked, me and my husband, over that hill.” She also credited her belief in God as an important part of her long life. “I spent all my time in the church. I like to sing. I spent all my time in the church from a child to right up [now].”

Brown’s husband, Augustus, died in 1997; and the eldest of her six children passed away in April, at the age of 97.

Brown’s death means that Japan’s Nabi Tajima—who just turned 117 on August 4—is now the world’s oldest surviving person.

[h/t: Jamaica Observer]

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This Just In
The Tiny, Pretty Diamond Spider Isn't Extinct After All
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An elusive spider that was believed to be extinct in Britain has been spotted for the first time in nearly 50 years, according to The Telegraph.

Pretty little Thanatus formicinus—more commonly known as the diamond spider—is just a third of an inch long and gets its name from the thin black diamond on its hairy gray abdomen. The spider typically lives in damp areas with moss and flowering plants, like heather and purple moor grass. But since the arachnid was last spotted in England’s Ashdown Forest in 1969, conservationists assumed that it had fallen victim to habitat loss.

Turns out, the spider wasn’t extinct—it was just laying low for a few decades. While conducting an ecological survey of Clumber Park—an expanse of heath, woods, and parkland in Nottinghamshire—two volunteers with England’s National Trust conservation organization recently spotted the long-lost arachnid.

“The spider ran away from me twice, but with persistence and some luck, I caught it,” said Lucy Stockton, the National Trust volunteer who sighted the arachnid along with companion Trevor Harris.

The duo’s discovery in Clumber Park marks just the fourth time the spider had ever been recorded in the UK, and the only time it's been seen in the north of the country. “We are absolutely delighted that this pretty, little spider has been re-found, we had almost given up hope,” commented Mark Shardlow, the chief executive of Buglife, an English conservation group. “It is a testament to the crucial importance of charities like the National Trust saving and managing heathland habitats.”

[h/t The Telegraph]

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This Just In
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