How to add 90billionths of a second to your life . . . live in the basement: Scientists prove time really does pass quicker at a higher altitude
In a bizarre experiment using the most accurate atomic clocks ever invented, researchers showed that clocks run faster if they are raised by just 12 inches.
It's taken a century but scientists have finally prove that Albert Einstein was right - time really does past more quickly if you stand on a step ladder.
However, anyone hoping that a lifetime living in a basement is the secret to longevity will be disappointed.
The effect is so small that it would add just 90 billionths of a second to a 79 year life span.
The extraordinary experiment - published today in the respected journal Science - demonstrates one of the strangest consequences of Einstein's theories of relativity.
Einstein's work famously showed that time is relative. In 1907 his General Theory of Relativity showed that clocks run more quickly at higher altitudes because they experience a weaker gravitational force than clocks on the surface of the Earth.
The phenomenon - called gravitational time dilation - has been demonstrated by putting atomic clocks on jumbo jets and flying them at high altitudes.
Just as Einstein predicted, clocks flown at 30,000 feet run faster than those left behind on the ground.
Gravitational time dilation can be seen in global positioning satellites which need to have their clocks regularly adjusted.
It also means that your head ages more quickly than your feet, that people living on the top floor of a tower block age more quickly than those on the first floor - and that time passes more slowly for people living at sea level than it does for those on mountains.