An Iranian hermit nicknamed the “dirtiest man in the world” died at the old age of 94, reported news agency AFP on Tuesday, citing the state media. “Amou Haji”, who hadn’t showered for more than half a century and was single, died in the village of Dejgah in the southern province of Fars.
Citing a local official, the news agency said that Haji had avoided showering over fears of “getting sick”.
Covered in soot and living in a cinder-block shack, Haji hadn’t bathed with water or soap in more than 60 years. Villagers also revealed that the man had experienced “emotional setbacks in his youth” which led him to refuse to wash, according to a report by The Guardian.
Haji would end his hunger pangs by eating roadkill. He also smoked a pipe filled with animal excreta, and believed that bathing and keeping clean would make him ill, reported The Guardian, citing a 2014 Tehran Times report. Photos were also captured of him smoking multiple cigarettes at once.
He was, however, persuaded by the local villagers to take a bath for the first time last month, according to IRNA news agency, reported AFP.
A short documentary film titled “The Strange Life of Amou Haji” was also made on his life in 2013, reported Iranian media outlets.
After Haji’s death, the unofficial record for not bathing through large part of his life could go to an Indian man.
According to a Hindustan Times Report in 2009, Kailash Singh ‘Kalau’, a resident of the holy city Varanasi had avoided taking shower for over 30 years. He would not brush either.
On being asked the reason, he said it was to help the country and end “all the problems confronting the nation”, reported HT. However, neighbours said that Kalau has seven daughters and is avoiding bath as he believes that in doing so he will please the Gods and have a son, the HT report said.