An Iranian hermit known as “the world’s dirtiest man” has died aged 94, having spent most of his life avoiding bathing.
Iranian news agency Irna reported that Amou Haji, or “Uncle Haji”, died on Sunday in Dezhgah village in the southern province of Fars.
Locals said he had shunned hygeine for more than 70 years due to “emotional setbacks” in his youth that led him to believe cleaning would ruin his health.
He was also said to avoid fresh food, preferring rotting carcasses, especially those of porcupines.
He was known to smoke animal faeces out of a pipe and was pictured drawing on several cigarettes at a time.
Locals were fond of him and built an open brick shack for him to live in, according to a 2014 article in the Tehran Times.
Haji fell ill not long after locals finally took him to bathe for the first time in decades, Irna reported.
On an earlier attempt by neighbours to take him to bathe in the local river, Haji threw himself out of the car when he realised the purpose of the trip.
Haji never married.
His funeral was set for Tuesday night in Farashband City, Fars.
The hermit’s death leaves open the chance for a 67-year-old Indian man to take over what could be the record length of time without washing.
Kailash Singh of Maharashtra has not bathed in nearly half a century on the promise of a priest that shunning cleanliness would guarantee him a son.