Amu Haji: the story of an Iranian who did not wash for 67 years (10 photos + 1 video)

16 May 2024

Iranian Amu Haji is known as "the dirtiest man in the world." He lived in a brick hut in the village of Dejga, and did not bathe for 67 years. A man died at the age of 94 after taking his first bath.

Amu Haji, “the dirtiest man in the world,” lived for many years in a brick hut in the Iranian village of Dejga, did not bathe for 67 years, smoked animal dung through a pipe and drank water from a rusty oil can. Due to the troubles of life, at some point in his life, Haji stopped bathing, eating fresh food and drinking clean water, fearing that this would make him sick or bring bad luck. Surprisingly, after the locals decided to take care of him and took him to take a bath, the man died. This happened on October 23, 2022 - he was 94 years old.

Haji certainly lived a unique life. Local residents claimed that in his youth he experienced “emotional turmoil” and disappointments in love, which became the reason for his aversion to hygiene. The man ate mostly scraps and drank a lot of water: his favorite food was rotten porcupine, and he preferred to drink five liters of water a day from a rusty oil can, which he collected from nearby puddles. Someone claimed that Amu used to live and sleep in a hole in the ground until concerned locals built him a brick hut.

By the way, Amu Haji is his nickname. It means "Uncle Haji" - an affectionate name for older people. Due to years of not washing, his skin was covered in soot and pus. He also smoked a lot, alternating between regular cigarettes and smoking animal excrement through a pipe. Despite all this unsanitary conditions, his health remained good until shortly before his death in 2022. In early 2022, a team of doctors from the Tehran School of Public Health conducted a series of tests on Haji, including tests for HIV and hepatitis. Doctors were surprised to find no infections or parasites in Haji, except for trichinosis, a parasite that appears as a result of eating raw meat. They theorized that he had developed a strong immune system after decades of living in harsh conditions.

A few years before his death, Amu gained fame around the world. Journalists and ordinary people came to him just to get to know him and document his life. In 2013, a short documentary film, The Strange Life of Amou Haji, was made about his life.

"I guess he's luckier than many of us. His roof is a starry sky, he has a little hut and he doesn't worry about a monthly mortgage, his pillow and blanket are soft earth. He spends his days without worrying about overdue bills for gas and electricity, because he is warmed by his own breath. He does not have a courtyard with a lawn near the house - but he has an endless horizon. Amu Haji jan, thank you for showing us how poor we really live, " wrote a Tehran Times journalist after meeting Amou Haji in 2014.

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