Meet Amou Haji, The World’s Dirtiest Man — Who Hasn’t Bathed Since The 1950s

Published August 18, 2022

Amou Haji of Dejgah, Iran claims that cleanliness causes illness and that his avoidance of bathing is the reason he's managed to live to nearly 90 without any major health problems.

He’s known on the internet as the dirtiest man alive. But to Amou Haji of Dejgah, Iran, this is not a negative thing.

Amou Haji

AFP/Getty ImagesAmou Haji, pictured on the outskirts of his village in Dejgah, Iran. 2018.

For the record, Haji, who is 87 years old, has not bathed in almost seven decades. However, it’s hard to pin down the exact reason why. According to Times Now News, some locals think that he is scared of water. Others say he simply believes that cleanliness brings illness, and he remains dirty in the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.

Almost all insist Haji endured some sort of adolescent trauma that caused him to seek a life of isolation. ZME Science reports that as a young man, he fell in love with a woman who rejected him.

Whatever the true reason for his uncleanliness, it seems to suit Haji just fine — as do his myriad of other quirks that many of us would find completely revolting.

Amou Haji’s Stomach-Churning Diet

Amou Haji reportedly subsists on a diet that is largely made up of roadkill. He claims that his favorite food is rotten porcupine meat.

It’s not that he doesn’t have access to fresh food — he just genuinely dislikes it. Haji allegedly becomes upset when villagers try to bring him home-cooked meals and clean water.

Amou Haji Sitting On The Ground

AFP/Getty ImagesAmou Haji is so dirty that passersby often mistake him for a rock.

But though he rejects fresh water, he still stays hydrated, drinking a gallon of liquid every day. He collects his water from puddles and sips it from a rusty oil tin.

When not eating or drinking, Haji enjoys his favorite pastimes — like smoking animal feces from his pipe. When there’s no dung around, he’ll settle for tobacco cigarettes, and he’s been known to smoke up to five of them at a time.

The Bizarre Lifestyle Choices Of The World’s Dirtiest Man

Though Haji occasionally receives gifts of food and cigarettes from local residents, he prefers to keep to himself. He lives just outside the tiny village of Dejgah, and his favorite sleeping spot is a hole in the ground.

Amou Haji Smoking Cigarettes

AFP/Getty ImagesAmou Haji smoking four cigarettes at once.

Several years ago, a group of friendly citizens built him an open brick hut to sleep in when it’s wet or cold outside. In addition to the shack, he manages to keep warm during the cooler months by wearing an old war helmet and layering the few rags of clothing he owns.

Amou Haji may not bathe, but he still cares about how he looks. He trims his hair and beard by burning them to the desired length with an open flame, and he uses random car mirrors to occasionally check his reflection.

However, while he apparently enjoys living in isolation, he does seemingly get lonely at times. Haji has had some understandable troubles when it comes to meeting people, but he has reportedly said that he’d love to find a wife.

Amou Haji In His Shack

AFP/Getty ImagesHaji crouching at the entrance of his brick hut.

According to LADbible, Haji’s hobbies include keeping up with politics and discussing the wars he has the most knowledge of — the French and Russian Revolutions. The local governor has even said that Haji is pleasant to converse with despite his appearance, and he’s condemned troublemakers who verbally belittle and throw stones at the hermit.

Haji seems to be used to the harassment, however, as he’s been dealing with it for nearly 70 years.

Amou Haji’s Shockingly Flourishing Health

For someone who hasn’t bathed since the 1950s, Amou Haji is surprisingly healthy. Local doctors who have run tests on him are stunned that the 87-year-old man can maintain his unhygienic lifestyle.

According to PopCrush, an associate professor of parasitology from the school of public health in Tehran named Dr. Gholamreza Mowlavi once ran some tests on Haji to determine if he had any illnesses that needed to be treated.

Amou Haji Smoking A Pipe

AFP/Getty ImagesAmou Haji smoking animal dung from his pipe.

After testing for everything from hepatitis to AIDS, Mowlavi concluded that Amou Haji is in very good health. In fact, he only has one ailment — trichinosis, a parasite infection caused by eating raw or undercooked meat. Thankfully, Haji doesn’t seem to exhibit any life-threatening symptoms.

Dr. Mowlavi also noted that Haji likely has a solid immune system after almost seven decades without a bath. Perhaps the world’s dirtiest man is onto something, after all.

After learning about Amou Haji, the dirtiest man in the world, read about the Boston man who had a decades-old tapeworm in his brain. Then, go inside the story of the “world’s loneliest woman.”

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.