'World's dirtiest man' dies shortly after bathing for first time in decades

"Uncle Haji" avoided eating fresh food and smoked animal excrement, according to local residents.

 "Uncle Haji," world's "dirtiest man," at his home in Iran (photo credit: Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA))
"Uncle Haji," world's "dirtiest man," at his home in Iran
(photo credit: Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA))

"Uncle Haji," known by international media as the "world's dirtiest man" due to the fact he didn't bath for over 60 years, has died at the age of 94, falling ill shortly after his first bath, Iranian media reported on Tuesday.

Haji, a resident of Dezh Gah in the southern Fars province of Iran, avoided eating any fresh food, and believed that he would get sick if he took a bath and that being clean harmed your health, the head of the district told the Iranian IRNA news agency.

"Uncle Haji had a face similar to that of a caveman, and even ordinary people thought he was nearly a century old," wrote the Iranian Fars News Agency.

Haji ate roadkill and smoked a pipe full of animal excrement. Local doctors said that he appeared to be healthy, despite his lack of hygiene.

According to the Iranian Tasnim News Agency, Haji would regularly trim his beard by burning it while using a car mirror to see himself. He would sleep in a "grave-like hole" and during the winter he would live in a simple four-walled shack that the villagers built for him.

 ''Uncle Haji,'' world's ''dirtiest man,'' at his home in Iran (credit: Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA)) ''Uncle Haji,'' world's ''dirtiest man,'' at his home in Iran (credit: Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA))

Local residents respected him and his decision to avoid cleanliness, but a few years ago a group of youth tried to bring him in a car to the river to bath. When he realized that they wanted him to bathe, he jumped out of the car and ran away.

Finally, a few months ago, the villagers convinced him to take a bath. He fell ill shortly afterwards and died on Sunday.