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An Iranian hermit, dubbed the world’s “dirtiest man,” has passed away at the age of 94 in the Iranian village of Dejgah, state media announced on Sunday. The man, whose nickname was Uncle Haji, reportedly went some 67 years without washing and only ate rotten food.   

According to the IRNA news agency, Haji chose to avoid showering out of fear that it would make him ill. His commitment to not bathing was so strong that he even once threw himself out of a car when local villagers tried to take him to a river to wash up, according to the outlet.  

Aside from having an aversion to soap and water, Haji also had a distaste for fresh food and water, stating that his favorite food was rotten porcupine and other roadkill. The water he drank usually came from nearby puddles and he drank it from a rusty oil can. The man lived in an open brick hut and preferred to smoke animal feces out of an old pipe rather than tobacco.  

Despite his unusual sanitary habits, Haji was nevertheless quite healthy. A team of doctors from the Tehran School of Public Health conducted a series of tests on him earlier this year only to find that he had no bacterial or parasitic infections aside from Trichinosis, a common infection linked to consuming raw meat. The man, however, showed no symptoms.  

The doctors concluded that Haji was able to remain healthy because of his constant exposure to harsh living conditions, which had allowed him to develop an unusually strong immune system.  

Several months ago, however, the villagers allegedly managed to finally convince the hermit to take a bath for the first time in over half a century. According to a local official who spoke with IRNA, Haji fell ill soon after and passed away on October 23.

 

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