In antiquity Ikaria was known as a health destination, largely for its radioactive hot springs, which were believed to relieve pain and to cure joint problems and skin ailments.
But for much of the ensuing two millennia, civilization passed over this wind-beaten, harborless island. To elude marauding pirates, Ikarians moved their villages inland, high up on the rocky slopes. Their isolation led to a unique lifestyle.
Over centuries with no outside influences, island natives developed a distinctive outlook on life, including relentless optimism and a propensity for partying, both of which reduce stress.
Ikarians go to bed well after midnight, sleep late, and take daily naps. Based on our interviews, we have reason to believe that most Ikarians over 90 are sexually active.
But what about the Ikarians' culture best explains their long lives?
To find out, we let visitors to our website direct our team's quest. Our online collaborators voted on what we should research next. One day, for example, we interviewed hundred-year-old Ikarians to discover what they'd eaten for most of their lives. The next day we investigated the chemical composition of herbal teas.
In all, we found 13 likely contributors to Ikarian longevity. The formula on the next page may be the closest you'll get to the fountain of youth.