Everyone has their own hygiene routines they carry out every day. Usually, we adopt these habits from a young age, as they are instilled with the guidance of our parents or guardians. Some people like to bathe daily, and others once a week or so. One man decided to give up bathing altogether, and was dubbed the “World’s dirtiest man“. He recently passed away at the ripe old age of 94 – here is his story.
The World’s Dirtiest Man
If you had not heard of him before, Amou Haji was known as the World’s dirtiest man. He lived in a small village in Iran called Dezhgah, and he was beloved by all the locals who lived there. His home was made of cinder blocks, which were reportedly made for him by the villagers. The interesting this is that Haji refused to wash, and he had not done so in over 60 years. The villagers said he had suffered some kind of emotional trauma that led him to fear being washed. Allegedly, he was under the impression that if he bathed, he would fall ill.
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Unfortunately, Haji passed away recently. He was 94 years old, and the autopsy revealed that he was in perfect health. His death did not go unnoticed, because he had gained a reasonable amount of fame from a documentary film about him called, “The Strange Life of Amou Haji”. Not only that, but the villagers loved Haji, and they mourned his death.
Many people might wrinkle their noses at the idea of never bathing. The stench that accumulates is enough to put anyone off. However, Haji was a man of solitude. The idea of soap and water filled him with fear and dread. As mentioned before, he feared he would get sick if he used such substances.
How did he survive?
Haji would smoke marijuana, and occasionally a metal plumbing pipe filled with animal droppings. Furthermore, he was seen in the documentary smoking multiple cigarettes at once. In the photo below, you can see Haji holding five lit cigarettes, ready to take a puff.
His dietary intake was a perfect representation of his contrary approach to life. According to the villagers, he would only eat roadkill that had started rotting, and he would avoid anything that was still fresh. This is literally the opposite of what most dieticians would recommend. However, after his death, the autopsy showed his body was completely healthy.
The locals in the village cared for Haji, and occasionally tried to coax him into getting clean. He allegedly threw himself out of a car in an attempt to run away from another villager who was driving him to a river to clean himself. The telegraph reported that he finally agreed a few months before his bath. “for the first time a few months ago, villagers had taken him to a bathroom to wash,” reported Iran’s IRNA news agency. “Not long after, he fell ill and finally, on Sunday… he gave up his life.”
Fire baths and marijuana
Amou Haji was not the only man who refused to bathe. Another, man from a village outside the holy city of Varanasi has not washed in 30 years. His reason is to help “all the problems confronting the nation”. Instead of soap and water, Kalau Singh would cleanse himself with a fire bath. This meant lighting a bonfire, standing on one leg, and praying to a God of his faith, Lord Shiva. All the while he would smoke marijuana.
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- “‘World’s dirtiest man’ dies at 94, months after his first wash in more than 70 years.” The Independent. Liam James. October 27, 2022
- “Amou Haji, Known as ‘World’s Dirtiest Man,’ Dead at 94 ‘Not Long After’ First Bath in 60 Years.” People. Charmaine Patterson. October 26, 2022
- “‘World’s dirtiest man’ dead at 94 ‘not long after’ taking bath for first time in decades.” Fox News. Emma Colton. October 25, 2022.