A man who went 67 years without washing because he was worried it would make him ill has died at the age of 94 – after taking a shower.
Amou Haji was dubbed the “World’s Dirtiest Man” for his bathroom-dodging ways, The Sun reports.
Apart from an aversion to soap and water, the Iranian was otherwise healthy, despite only eating uncooked porcupine roadkill and drinking dirty water from puddles out of a rusty oil can.
He also had a fondness for smoking animal dung out of an old pipe as well as four cigarettes at once.
Earlier this year neighbours persuaded him to have a shower after telling him washing made it difficult to make friends or a find a girlfriend.
Iranian news agency quotes a source as saying “for the first time a few months ago, villagers had taken him to a bathroom to wash”.
Such was his commitment to not washing, he once jumped from a moving car after men from the village had bundled him to take him to a river.
Amou also attracted the interest of scientists interested in studying what type of lifeforms might have taken up home on his body.
But they were surprised to find he hadn’t suffered from any bacteria or parasites apart from Trichinosis, a bacteria that comes from eating raw meat and causes a common infection.
Tests including for HIV and hepatitis all came up negative as well.
Amou lived in a shack on the outskirts of the village of Dejgah but was surprisingly well educated.
He discussed the pros and cons of the French and Russian Revolutions with visitors.
Amou knew the up-to-date politicians but also complained that the international publicity had made life difficult for him.
Although his neighbours respected him, he said people turned up occasionally to taunt him, and even throw stones at him.
A short documentary film titled The Strange Life of Amou Haji was made about his life in 2013.
With Haji’s death, the unofficial record of “World’s Dirtiest Man” could go to an Indian man.
Kailash Singh, from a village outside the holy city of Varanasi, has not washed for more than 30 years, the Hindustan Times reports.
He rejects water in favour of what he called a “fire bath” in a bid to help end “all the problems confronting the nation”.
“It’s just like using water to take a bath. Fire bath helps kill all the germs and infections in the body,” Singh was reported to have said.
He used to own a grocery store but his unclean habits drove customers away and he is now a farmer.
This article was originally published by The Sun