Dragon Ball: How Long Piccolo’s Species Can Live For

Piccolo puts himself in lethal danger way too often, but if he decided to embrace a safer life, how long could he actually live as a Namekian?

 A lot of the characters in Dragon Ball seem relatively ageless. The green slug-man Piccolo is among several of the forever-young Z-Fighters that only get stronger and never grow a gray hair – or any hair, for that matter. But Piccolo’s species of Namekians have incredibly long lifespans, meaning that true to appearances, he is still in the prime of his youth.

The sci-fi epic Dragon Ball property by Akira Toriyama has spanned decades, but the only characters to show their age either already had wrinkles or were children at the outset. But Piccolo and his native Namekians are even more fresh-faced than the Saiyans. Piccolo is among a race of green-skinned people that can live up to half a millennium. Sadly, even then, dying of old age is a luxury Z-Fighters don’t get. The violent world of Dragon Ball doesn’t foster longevity, leading to a lot of tragic deaths (and, admittedly, a lot of subsequent resurrections.) 

Dragon Ball Z saw the series expand into space when the Z-Fighters sought out new Dragon Balls capable of wishing multiple people back to life. Piccolo’s homeworld Namek was filled with only about 100 Namekians, all born from an elder named Guru. Guru would become a central figure to the story for the Frieza arc only to die of old age when it was most inconvenient. Frieza had just gotten his hands on the Dragon Balls when Guru croaked and the Dragon Balls turned to stone.

Guru managed to make it to 500 years old and he looked every year of those centuries. Very few people could age gracefully for half a millennium, and Guru was no exception, even if he does prove what’s possible. Piccolo could probably live just as long if he got over his tendency to stand in front of planet-busting ki blasts and punches capable of perforating his torso. He probably won’t make it to 500 with his lifestyle, but in biological terms, it is possible. That said, if he’s lucky, he could technically end up even older.

Piccolo may be able to regenerate quickly, but his fast-and-loose gambling with his life has meant he has died five times over the manga series. He always gets wished back to life, so his true age is a bit of an unknown. It’s unlikely he physically ages in the afterlife, appearing to revert back to his state prior to death, but what does that mean for how fans can understand his technical longevity? He has also absorbed two other Namekians, so does he also gain their respective ages? He seems to have agency over his own mind and body with Kami and Nail fading into his subconscious, and Piccolo doesn’t have any extra wrinkles like Kami, suggesting he got some of the benefits of their life experience without any cost, “gaining” years that someone else lived.

Going off of the manga, Piccolo is estimated to be 25 at the beginning of Dragon Ball Super. He was only 3 years old (though fully grown and almost as strong as Goku) when he first faced his Saiyan nemesis in Dragon Ball. If Piccolo plays his cards right, he could keep training and surpass even Goku given the centuries more of training he could afford. According to the manga, Saiyans eventually show their age when they get to around 80 years old, maintaining their ridiculously muscled physiques until they suddenly turn geriatric. Namekians also appear to keep their fighting form well into old age but eventually develop the wrinkles and darker skin pigmentation exhibited by older Namekians. Namekians have the potential to live for thousands of years, but thanks to his temporary deaths and ability to absorb others, Piccolo’s life could be said to span an even great time than that – giving him more than enough time to train up and become by far the strongest Z-Warrior.

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