Suppose you became immortal* or came by the ability to live for thousands of years due to some inexplicable/irrelevant event (you still appear to be human by all standards except aging). What would be the best way for an immortal to live in an American society while maintaining access to benefits of that society such as life, freedom and property?

This question just came to me as a "What happens after?..." type of scenario. Feel free to answer either question below. The best answer should focus more on the idea of keeping control of their life, freedoms and property. How they go about it is up to you; the best answer should be somewhat realistic.

  1. What might an immortal do to prevent suspicions (lack of gray hair/wrinkles 50 years later anyone) and evade detection by the government? (Dissection doesn't sound fun, nor would being a lab rat for some medical/pharmaceutical corporation, needless to say. Joe Average would like to maintain his freedom.)


  2. What might an immortal do through legal means to declare their status to the government and gain recognition as an immortal with the rights to the fruits of their labor? Could they be declared a protected class of citizen?

*It should be noted that immortality is not equal to invincibility, but rather increased lifespan.

  • $\begingroup$ The thing that is going to be the most complicated is DNA because you have to explain how you have the exact same genes as someone that is supposedly dead. So make sure no DNA is ever kept on record. Make as little emotional attatchments as possible and always be cremated. $\endgroup$
    – Necessity
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 5:04
  • $\begingroup$ Why does this question have the biology tag? $\endgroup$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ First question is probably a duplicate of this question on how to hide an immortal. Which I now see was asked at a later time, so no vtc from me. And there are a few newer related questions on the second question re governments recognising the rights of an immortal $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe the Movie The Man from Earth could give you ideas, it's a dialogue based low scifi movie about a man that reveals to a few selected friends that hes is arround 14,000 years old and states he's immortal. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Poul Anderson's "The boat of a million years" follows a number of immortals over several thousand years of history and includes some examples. Tl;dr, it gets a lot harder around the second half of the C20th in some countries. $\endgroup$
    – arboviral
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 10:37

19 Answers 19


Creating a series of identities and disposing of old ones would actually be reasonably easy, leaving the world knowing your immortal as a series of parents and children.

There was a presentation at Def Con earlier this year on the subject of virtually killing people and creating identities (Note: the link to the presentation in the article is broken. Here is the correct link). While their ideas on the use of said methods tended towards fraud (government child benefits, etc.) and organized crime (money laundering, smuggling, etc.), they are totally applicable to your immortal.

Creating a new identify would just be a matter of registering a home birth in some convenient jurisdiction (the presentation used Arizona). Then you put that baby identity "on the shelf" as they refer to it in the article until it's old enough to plausibly be you, at which point you kill off your current identity in by registering their death with a non-suspicious cause as a funeral director (the UK and Australia have pretty lax regulations on who can set themselves up as such) and assume the new identity, with the former identity's will leaving everything to the new identity.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there any way you could avoid inheritance taxes? $\endgroup$
    – Tony
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Tony, just via the usual methods, avoiding inheritance tax is standard procedure if you're paying attention $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 19:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This will fail these days due to biometric data. When the "child" gets a driver's license they'll match the parent. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 0:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LorenPechtel - There remain all manner of nations that don't yet use biometrics on IDs. There's no such thing on driver's licenses around here. $\endgroup$
    – Compro01
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 4:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The immortal can just live in a third world country, if he/she lived in my country... $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 7:20

Well, some of it depends on how they find out they are immortal. I would guess that discovering it by waiting will take at least 50-60 years before one suspects depending on what 'age' one stops aging at. It would be at least 20-30 years past that point, since they might just be 'aging gracefully'.

The first 50-100 years after the realization would be difficult, friends and family dying away. But after awhile, they would learn to 'die' and 'inherit' their wealth. Now in the US and other western countries, they can create a Corporation for all of their stuff, and just change the ownership and board periodically. The longer you live the easier it should be to amass wealth and power (if that is what you want).

It is also possible that 'ownership' becomes disillusioning and they just try to live a normal life over and over, or turn into a hermit.

After a thousand years you could have huge wealth without even trying, but if there is no one else like you, suicide might become an option since you will have outlived generations of friends and family, countries will have risen and fallen, your birth will be 'ancient' history. Unless you find something to drive you, say manipulating humanity, since in this time frame, that is something someone might have success at.

  • $\begingroup$ how might their new identity attain ownership of the corporation? $\endgroup$
    – user10905
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Lolorz12 their old identity passes it on through lawyers. $\endgroup$
    – bowlturner
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 22:00
  • $\begingroup$ you can be your own son or nephew $\endgroup$
    – bowlturner
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 22:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This was my immediate thought as well. Bribe some doctors to create a birth certificate for your "son". Wait 20 years, hand over the reigns. If you watch the Highlander film he does something similar there passing on his assets to himself as a new identity every few decades. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ Just to be clear, since you haven't explicitly mentioned it, I would absolutely, 100% NOT TELL THE GOVERNMENT about my longevity. Dissection would be the least of your worries. Try vivisection. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 22:53

I can see a few viable alternatives.

Become a nameless wanderer

We can look at a passing stranger's face, but it will quickly be forgotten if it doesn't have meaning. So if you want to remain undetected, simply avoid forming relationships with other human beings. Wander from city to city, scrounging through trash cans and begging for food with a cardboard sign. Don't talk. Don't make eye contact. Nobody's going to remember you in a week, let alone long enough for them to notice anything out of the ordinary. By then, you're gone. Don't obtain identification, don't have legal ownership of anything. If you're female and living in a predominantly Muslim country, wear a Hijab for extra privacy(I guess you'd be doing that already).

Live as a hermit

There are a few ways I can imagine doing this. One might be to live in some part of the wilderness that is off-limits, say, Chernobyl, or in a large forest preserve somewhere in a U.S. national park. But why live in squalor, when grandeur will suffice? As others have pointed out, immortality + compound interest eventually leads to insane wealth. Once you're wealthy, it's easy to avoid all human contact. Just lock yourself in your study all day, getting daily food and newspaper deliveries online. These services can be paid for by a "nonprofit foundation," which commits itself to "providing for the reclusive descendants of a wealthy Mr. X," or something similar.

Become a cult leader

Cult leaders sometimes claim they offer the secret of immortality to others, but this claim is a lot more powerful if it's actually true(you might not actually have the secret of immortality, but everyone thinks you do). All you have to do is preach virtue, morality, and other feel-good religious things, while continuing to prove your point by not dying, and you can slowly turn your small cult into a major world religion. If Jesus did it in 30 years, you should be able to do it in 1000 no problem.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The last option sounds crazy cool. $\endgroup$
    – Eric
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 9:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Eric Yeahhhhh! $\endgroup$
    – m4n0
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 8:04

The public need not notice your lack of aging.

Here's my idea:

  1. Change your appearance so that you look elderly, once you're 'old' enough that the appearance would seem normal.

  2. Visit a different country for a few years, after changing it back.

  3. Repeat from step one.


Let's say the event happened a couple of decades ago. The immortal stopped biological aging. How would the immortal (and his or her doctor) be able to tell immortality from slow aging?

  • Ten years after, the immortal goes to a physical and the doctor comments casually how the immortal looks younger than his or her age.
  • Twenty years after, the doctor might seriously wonder.
  • Thirty years after, the doctor asks politely for permission to do some more tests and to write it up in a medical journal. Patient confidentiality is promised, but in an age of google it won't hold.
  • After that, the "freak medical condition" is in the textbooks.
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, there reaches a point where the person is going to realize they don't even need to go to the doctor anymore. And it's going to be way sooner than ten years. Also, if you choose to keep getting checkups, why keep going to the same doctor? You don't need to show ID at the doctor, so you could give them any birthday you like, and just keep changing doctors every few years. That's make it much more difficult for any one person to see a pattern. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @VBartilucci, I think I'm fitter now than I was 10 years ago, more running, but I still go to the regular checkups to catch any developing problems early. And I wouldn't think of switching doctors to obscure my medical history because I want the doctor to make the best possible diagnosis. My assumption was that the immortal doesn't realize the effect himself early on. It is just "I stay fit" and "must be luck of the genes, no gray hairs." $\endgroup$
    – o.m.
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 17:54

I have a group of immortal characters (vampires) in one of my stories that I had to answer the same questions for. In the end, I decided that it would be most interesting if they had a sort off symbiotic relationship the government.

The government can provide whatever fake paperwork they might want (and, in my case, no-questions-asked blood)

The immortals, being in this case vampires, are used as a (possibly part-time) secret super-soldier.

Neither group want the general public to know about the immortals, for thier own reasons. The vampires don't want to be hunted down by fanatics and the government prefers to keep their secret weapons secret.

This situation wouldn't be unique to vampires. The government could find similar use for any unkillable person, who, by the way, would likely have a whole lot more skilled at that sort of thing (or any sort of thing) because they've had so long to practice.

  • $\begingroup$ You basically described the plot of The Rhesus Chart by Charles Stross. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 5:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Radovan Garabík Oh, wow, well, the idea came out of my head, I've never heard of that book! $\endgroup$
    – Mary ML
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ OP specifically clarifies that the immortality concerns lifespan only. That doesn't seem very compatible to me. (No downvote though, this could be very useful for similar but slightly different questions.) $\endgroup$
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 15:14

You could leave the country and fake your death before the fact that you are not aging normally becomes apparent. Then re-enter with a new identity. I'm sure with the right advice and connections it would be easy to find a way to maintain your property through different types of funds or selling a business to your next false identity. Anyway I'm sure you get the drift.


Go for Option 1 though Option 2 may be inevitable

For all but the last few decades of human history, the immortal could have moved about at will without difficulty. It would be exceptionally easy to build a new identity in a new place once the immortal had lived in one place long enough for people to get suspicious. Hereditary titles won't be achievable without considerable difficulty but status as a wealthy merchant would work quite nicely.

However, in modern times, laying low and just restarting somewhere else will become increasingly difficult. When you must establish your identity with strong(ish) authentication methods to participate in modern society in any meaningful way (or be an identity thief, which hopefully will become more difficult as time goes by), it's going to become increasingly difficult to not live as a hermit. Eventually, the trade-off between anonymity and participation in society may tip towards asking for government sanctioned identity changes.


Regrettably, Western society is still not ready for bodily immortality, let alone bodily immortality of the esoteric, achieved-through-the-powers-of-consciousness-alone variety (without vampirism), which is the variety I like. This reminds me of the movie "The age of Adaline".

I suspect there are actually a few immortals or quasi-immortals on the loose today of just this esoteric variety, mostly undocumented yogis around India, or hermits. Leonard Orr talks about this and he says he has met several of these quasi-immortals. The most spectacular and venerated case is that of Babaji, although there is confusion about him, as some say he is an avatar (not born of a woman).

Inevitably, these immortals or quasi-immortals must go into hiding or semi-hiding, eschewing contact with most of the world, which could contaminate and potentially (perhaps) destroy their vibration.

I hear that Jesús Jofre, who is a friend of a good friend of mine, while in Perú came in contact with a secretive order of enlightened beings. Apparently they achieved levitation while forming a circle. Jesús has seemingly reported in his book "Contacto con Sharim" (in Spanish), which I don't have myself, but about which I have heard a summary, that one day he managed to take a peek at their passports. The persons appeared no older than 30; they were actually 80 or 90 per their passports. I have yet to ask Jesús looking him in the eye, if this part of his story is true, ask him to swear by it, because a passport like that in someone looking like a youngster would sure raise a red flag when crossing a national border! Maybe they didn't travel internationally?

Some selected members of that order were expected to leave everything (possessions, family...) to start a trip around the world on a mission, presumably without having to show their passports... ...

I wish I could just attain this form of esoteric immortality, and show up a thousand years later at the local Police station to renew my Spanish national ID card, without hiding anything. But the world is just not ready for this! The solution, I feel, is to make the world ready for this, as I do not support illegal or delinquent subterfuges like identity theft..., and as I still refuse to give up on the hope of attaining immortality like that myself, chimerical as this hope seems at the moment.


Scientific research is beginning to look at bioengineering or nanotechnology or other methods to retard human ageing, but these methods for the most part ignore the existence of the human soul and of the subtle, but fundamental, energy interplay with other vibrational planes of existence. Furthermore, these methods will at first become available only for the super-rich. As their prices drop they will be accommodated gradually into the structure of society and social services, but this may have at that time serious, perhaps irreversible, consequences by way of social inequality.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding! If you have the time please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Interesting answer, but it seems like you only used a few sentences about them needing to go into hiding to address the problem asked in this question. Could you please elaborate how immortals should hide? Have fun on the site! $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ It is an interesting answer you make, but I don't really think you address the question(s) at hand. You state that there might already be people in existence which are semi-immortal but that they are all hiding to a certain extent. The questions asked are "what can an immortal do to prevent being discovered" and (well, "or") "what can they do to be declared legally acknowledged as immortal"; while "hiding" is an option, you do not really go into detail about it. Your answer is currently in the review for low quality answers and might be deleted if you do not edit it to address the question(s). $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 17:31

I would take an entirely different direction.

Come out to the world as the first immortal incredibly publicly and start a Web AMA or series

By coming out publicly and starting a regular series of online communications, The world's citizens can keep tabs on your well being and ask questions if you disappear. It would make it much harder for a government to make you disappear for testing.

Then, take a job as a lab test subject. Getting a few Legal pokes and prods for science would lower the amount the government would be willing to risk by abducting you when combined with your online presence. They can acquire some test data and you get paid (and probably quite handsomely). This has the added side effect of possibly revealing exactly what your ability does without years of self study.

There is no need to be illegal and hide if you can play your cards right and become a celebrity.

  • $\begingroup$ While this is an interesting answer, doing this would require being able to prove your immortality, which is rather difficult to do. $\endgroup$
    – Gryphon
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ Simply, wait until you have enough years and doctor's visits or some other form of regular reoccuring thing prove your age as compared to your visible age $\endgroup$
    – IT Alex
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ For the "proof" - you may be able to run experiments to test if your cells to not observe the Hayflick limit. As for the (oft mentioned in other answers) issue of Government "interest"... Well, that depends on how long ago you achieved your longevity, and your competence in learning military skills and navigating political circles. For the Immortal God-King of Latveria does not care for the whims of your transient foreign governments, and Doom shall befall any who dare challenge him! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 15:33

Join the Peace Corps and leave for a couple of decades. Have a 'child' documented in a third world country. A couple of decades later the 'adult' applies for U.S. citizenship and returns to States with his 'father' after decades of service abroad. All his paperwork prepared in Third World can be forged with your own biometrics for next to nothing.

Make sure you are not traveling from a country hostile to the U.S. or sponsors terrorism.

After you arrive in States pay off the decoy and give him new identity papers. Wave bye bye.

Go to college as your son. JOIN army as your son to 'update' your biometrics in the System.

Do your service time then get out and start your career. You should be good for another 40 years. Then start dying your hair. Again. RINSE. REPEAT.


There are lots of ways an immortal can hide, even in this day and age.

The most obvious is, don't get famous. If fame happens upon you (save a kid from a burning building or something), let the furor die down, then do a perfectly natural move to another state or country. Forge a new identity there.

That aside, I imagine they'd do it the way criminals do; have a bunch of assumed identities ready and waiting. That would be a good idea to always have on hand, as well as a go bag with money and necessities in case the immortal needs to split rather quickly.

Of course, to get such IDs means the immortal will make contacts in the underworld, so it's not beyond the pale that they can also find a hacker to help them erase their footprint in their past identity and become someone new. Digital trails are only as good as the databases that hold them.

Hair can be dyed grey; they sell silver hair dye now. If male, hair can also be shaved bald, in which case no one will notice hair color. Women and men both can also wear wigs. Men can grow a beard to age themselves and change their look, while women can use makeup tricks and, as the "grow older" just stop using it (women who don't use makeup are often accused of looking old and/or ill). Clothing also figures heavily into our perception of age--if the immortal always carefully dresses in the type of clothing we expect for their age group chances are that people will question their age less. Also, claiming some Asian genetics could help since there is the impression that folks from that area of the world never look their real age.

And never forget how someone acts. The teenage slouch, the middle-aged ramble, the swift pace of a young urban professional--you have an idea in your head already of what these things look like because you've seen them before. We all have. And immortal can "age" by aging their vocabulary and actions. While in their "twenties" they favor beer, "thirties" wine, "and in their "forties" they switch to whiskey. Maybe not. But small touches like that added together can make a person a chameleon.

Done well, and lack of wrinkles will probably just get them envy and some head shaking, so long as they don't push their identity too far past the 45-55 year old window, depending on the character of their face. Babyfaces may want to cut out earlier, stronger features can probably pull off later. Either way they can probably pull off a good 40 years in any given area, more if the "elder" persona becomes a cranky hermit and people now are interacting with their "nephew/son/niece/daughter" who have agreed to care for them as they age.

Being unseen isn't too hard either. Alaska is still a good place to vanish to, sometimes for decades. Anywhere rural is a great place to vanish. The locals might pay attention, but overall no one important pays attention to the locals because they assume they're unintelligent, bigoted, and given to believing conspiracy theories and fake news. Plus, if you make friends easily and go to the local church and act devoted, they'll pretty much leave you alone. Do them a solid and they'll actively close ranks around you, no matter how weird you might be.

And don't forget how much of this country (if this is set in America) is run down and deserted. There are ghosts towns, empty houses and businesses, old sewer and rail lines, and other things just all over the place. Heck, there was a runaway kid who lived at the bottom of an elevator shaft for a couple months, and the only reason they were ever caught was because they liked to fry hot dogs and people noticed the smell. Any immortal who learns how to survive on very little could wander into a place like that and not be seen for years.

Becoming part of a criminal/minority (not in the racial sense)/endangered group (motorcycle gang/impoverished farmer/homeless) can make a man vanish instantly. People actually work at not seeing those sorts of folks, either out of fear or a latent guilt they don't want to feel.

And then there's always another country. Developed nations might be plastered with Big Brother levels of tech, but much of the world is not. Even those places that are still have less policed rural areas. The entire world is full of jungles, deserts, ocean islands, sprawling forests, and more. The canny immortal could do an excellently credible job of falling off the planet if they really put their mind to it. Even one strapped for funds could sneak into Mexico and then just make a beeline for the nearest South American jungle.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the forensic levels of police are not nearly what you see on TV. DNA is not used as often as it should be, and most departments have no budget for shiny, crime solving tech, even when it does exist (and generally TV makes most of it up). So an immortal doesn't have much to worry about unless they actively have someone investigating them.

As for item 2--legal channels--is your immortal willing to spend a fortune and wait decades, then fight whatever decision is made for another decade or so, all while dodging people who want to own, harm, or end them in the meantime? If the answer is no, then s/he may want to skip legal channels altogether.

If you want legal channels your best bet is to set up some shady government agency who know their identity but keep it on the down low. In that case your immortal might live at a special government site where no one cares about their lack of aging, with the drawback that, in return the government gets...something, whatever it is they feel is useful, as well as semi-intrusively keeping tabs on the immortal's behavior and/or laying down rules they must follow.


The government doesn't care enough to track different people that look the same. You could really just move back and forth between two countries, although it would be best to move between more, just in case.


Might be dublicate with my previous question How would a young girl/boy (about 14) who never gets old survive in the 16th century?

How to hide identification?

  • Most Important : do not attract too much attention. Why: you are immortal but you are might not a specialist in spying, concealing,... You just a person who want to make a living. If a national spy network of any country looking for you, there is not much to hide.

  • The following method base on idea of staying low profile

  • Become a traveller. Which mean you fake your document once a while, and you better switch your country too. Do it once a decade.

  • Do the job that does not require you to make a lot of relationships that people will remember (CEO is not good, but a programmer is excellent).


But when to reveal the immortality ? How to reveal the immortality and benefit from it?

First, work in the job something that experience is important. Like doctor, CEO, supreme leader,.... And be famous, gain good reputation for your position.

Then keep doing the job. Do not move. You better let people figure out by themselves your immortality first before you make any announcements. Announcement your immortality without backing evidence or reputation may backfire.

Do not announce your immortality unless you have clear purposes for it (propaganda for example ).

Benefit: you will gain much more reputation and power than you would already have. You make more money, your word have more weight. Your name will go down history as

  • a doctor with more than 100 year exp and have dexterity of an young man.
  • an " immortal" supreme leader who is actually immortal. (like those in North Korea)
  • a historian,a living witness, who participated in both world war.
  • $\begingroup$ I'd forgotten about this question, looks like you got me though. It's true... I'm a time traveler ;) $\endgroup$
    – user10905
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 18:42

Maybe it's better if you are a women. Because like so you just always got pregnant by some unknown guy and you can allways pass all you have to your daugther which is you. Like this no one searches for a mother or a father because they all think you do not know the father either.

Also I would suggest to live a really normal live to the outside as it is very strange yet to have no family at all and you want to be as unrecognized as however possible. You should then change your country, but allways to a place where based on your looks one could think you are native. You always have to adapt to the new Ideology and the language of the people which as you see with old people is not a very easy task.

As you have unlimited time to learn new things you could become a surgeon and modify your own face from "life" to "life".

I for me think that to not be found is either close to inpossible if you don't know that your immortal because you will go see a doctor he tells the state and you find yourself side by side with those labor-rats, or not that dificult if you know it because you have plenty of time to plan some sick master plans. And after the twentiest time you do a "Rebirth" it's not such a complicated thing anymore.


The user who made the question is immortal and tries to find a way to hide his identity ;)


For the most part, this would only be an emerging problem, not one that the immortal would have had to deal with in the past. Simply moving around every few decades would suffice to "reset" the immortals life. Up until VERY recently correspondence alone was enough to maintain a high level of discourse with legal and financial firms, so it would only be necessary to ensure that the immortal didn't spend a lot of time with a young partner of the law firm handling his finances and then meet that person again, decades later. But even then, unless the immortal had a LOT of photographs taken, it is highly unlikely that anyone would remember the person clearly enough to determine that they are identical in appearance, not just similar.

How old does the immortal appear? This is critical, since if they appear to be a teenager the time they can spend in any one place is limited. Of course they can probably just hop from university to university, always getting lost in the midst of fresh faces. An older appearing immortal could stretch things out for decades with subtle make-up and facial hair changes.

In the modern era things will become more tricky, at least in America and Europe. Depending on his ethnicity there are still countries where money is all you need. Biometrics (fingerprints, retinal scans, DNA, facial mapping) will start to become the undoing of an immortal going forward. But key here is disbelief. A security guard or bank flunky is going to first assume that a fingerprint scan telling him the gentleman in front of him is 120 years old is a computer error. Biometrics are just links in a database, so presumably the immortal will spend a lot of time altering the database, destroying archives of his past activities (fires and flooding have destroyed MANY records).

A passport, social security card, drivers license and the like is still pretty trivial to fake or acquire. Bribing officials, hacking records, and stealing identities will be second nature to the immortal, though these techniques will become less and less effective in industrialized countries heading forward.

Presumably the immortal, if he has been around for centuries already, has accumulated great wealth, and has learned to be adaptive and responsive to the changing times, would actually be deliberately molding his preferred society to accommodate him. He could be involved in identity surveillance technology in order to keep himself out of it. He could be ordering google images to scrub his image from all archives. Pay media to NOT report or show him (assuming that he still likes to hobnob with folks the media WOULD be following around). Clearly he can't be a movie star or celebrity, but then again, most folks aren't.


If you were immortal creating a series of new identities seems like a relativley easy method; however, passports and other forms of photo id, are scanned at the border with facial recognition software, and screened against any false identities or warrants. You would either need to "modify" your features for each new identity, hack the system, or by pass the borders for around half an average life span or more. Your new identity wouldn't have to be "air tight" though, just good enough to pass under the radar. Most ppl aren't walking the street looking at every face, on the slim chance of spotting an immortal, and should someone ever spot one, most ppl would readly except the "every body has a double" explanation. As long as an immortal never stayed anywhere for too long, they could pass under the gov and public radar indefinetly, utilizing shell corps and temp hidden bank accounts, for their financial stability.

  • $\begingroup$ If one has been immortal for quite some time, and had already amassed wealth, most of the issues you discuss can be easily circumvented with a sufficient application of funds. Flying by private plane allows you to skip the TSA checkpoints. Also, bear in mind you'd likely only need to change identities every 30-40 years or so - resembling someone else from 30 years ago isn't going to raise too many suspicions, and can easily be explained if the other person is your "father" or any other relative. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 17:36

To avoid detection by "not apparently aging", you would simply move every decade or so, while otherwise living a normal life. Every time you move, a good part of your friends and acquaintances disappears after a short time, but you have a transition period to make new friends so you don't suffer from social isolation. After 3-4 moves, none of the old friends should be left and the new ones don't notice, because basically nobody knows you for more than 20 years. Just be a bit uptight about your age (socially accepted if you are a woman).

For changing your identity in regards of government, taxes, etc. other answers have already written about the process. I would add that most controls could be avoided by changing country every third or so move. I recently moved to jus a neighbouring country, same language etc. - but there is an incredible disconnect between them on the beaurocracy level that you don't believe until you've seen it. If you change citizenship as well, you will be an unknown when you return 30 or 60 years later.


I'd definitely recommend checking out the movie "The man from Earth". Here the titular character is essentially the same as your protagonist, being alive since the stone age. He manages to evade suspicion by relocating and forging a new identity every ten or so years, sometimes passing himself off as the son of one of his previous identities.

The details are not explored, however, so we don't learn the exact mechanics of creating a new identity and disposing of the old one, or the transfer of wealth and certifications between the personas. This is somewhat explained by him by telling that this process (changing identities) has become quite difficult recently, implying that only the last 1% or so of his "reincarnations" were troublesome.

As for transferring documents and certifications it is implied that he doesn't bother with them, as he says his medical degree is from the 1800s and hasn't updated his knowledge since then. To avoid this need he just works as professors of History, Paleonthology, Art History or another similar field where his own experiences and knowledge is enough for the job, or alternatively in professions that don't require certifications.

Your immortal who grew up in the environment of today or the recent past might have a different set of expectations and therefore might not be content with raising pigs for a living so you could opt for longer intervals between identities which would allow for re-obtaining the necessary certifications in a quicker pace, since there is no need for learning everything from the beginning, only what has changed since the last persona transfer. The schools might see your immortal as a curiously gifted student who can blaze through three years worth of curriculum in a year or so, but this is nothing too suspicious.

Then in the next twenty or so years with the use of make-up and by reducing close personal contact to the necessary levels the signs of not aging could be masked. After which it is back to the planning board to craft a new identity using legal trickery and/or the black market. This identity can then inherit the wealth of the current one and preferably move to another location that is suitably far from the current place, preferably to another country or continent.


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