'World's Dirtiest Man' Has Died

Iranian hermit is said to have relented and bathed just months ago
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2022 1:04 PM CDT
'World's Dirtiest Man' Went Decades Without Bathing
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Stas_V)

The media had named him "the world's dirtiest man," a moniker that was backed up by the alleged details of the Iranian hermit's life, which has come to an end after 94 years. In reporting his Sunday death, the Guardian explains the man was known as "Amou Haji," a tender nickname for an elderly person, and that he reportedly went as many as 60 years without bathing over fears that it would harm his health. (The New York Post has many photos of him here.) The BBC resurfaces a 2014 Tehran Times article that described Haji's skin as covered in "soot and puss," and cites local reporting on his death as noting he was said to mainly subsist on rotten meat (he was apparently partial to porcupine) and water consumed from an oil can.

He also reportedly smoked animal dung from a pipe. Amou Haji was said to fear that soap and water would make him sick and linked his anxiety about it to "emotional setbacks" he had as a youth, and Iran's IRNA news agency reports his death came several months after he finally relented to the entreaties of those who lived in his village of Dejgah and agreed to wash. He's not alone in shirking bathing: In 2009, a story emerged of an Indian man who hadn't bathed for 35 years, though he was reportedly doing so in hopes of bringing an end to his nation's problems; there's no word on his current status. (Still, there's something to be said for bathing just once a week.)

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