An Iranian hermit known as “the world’s dirtiest man” has died at the ripe age of 94, just months after taking his first wash in decades, Iranian state media announced.
“Amu Haji” – Uncle Haji – as he was referred to, died on Sunday in Dezhgah, a village in the country’s southern province of Fars, state news agency IRNA reported.
According to the region’s district head, Haji had for decades avoided fresh food and believed that “if he cleans himself, he will get sick,” the agency reported.
Haji was known for his staunch stance against bathing: A few years ago, when a group of villagers took him to a nearby river in an attempt to bathe him, he threw himself out of the car and ran away.
Locals in the area all treated him and his condition with respect, IRNA reported, understanding that his fear of getting sick was the reason he avoided water.
A few months ago, villagers successfully gave Haji a wash.
Haji was unmarried. His funeral was held Tuesday evening in the nearby city of Farashband, according to IRNA.