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Heartbreaking reason why the 'world's dirtiest man' didn't bathe with water or soap for over 60 years
Featured Image Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Heartbreaking reason why the 'world's dirtiest man' didn't bathe with water or soap for over 60 years

Amou Haji went a staggering 60 years without washing himself

Amou Haji went over six decades without washing with soap and water, but there's thought to be a sad reason why.

Amou became well-known in his community in Iran for his anti-washing ways, as well as for his rather unique lifestyle in general.

The late 94-year-old, who passed in October 2022, would also eat roadkill and smoke a pipe filled with animal excrement, according to The Tehran Times.

Apparently porcupine meat was a particular favorite of his, and he'd drink a whopping 1.5 gallons of water a day.

Shortly before his death, local villagers managed to persuade Amou to have a wash.

Years of going unwashed left his skin filled with 'soot and puss'.

But Iran's IRNA mews agency said he fell ill shortly after washing again for the first time and died a few months later.

Over the course of his life, Amou kept his hair trimmed but, as you'd probably expect, he didn't do so using a pair of scissors. Instead, he is said to have burnt his hair off.

As to why he hadn't properly bathed for so long, it's believed that Amou suffered with ablutophobia.

The elderly man hadn't washed for decades.
YouTube/Rajasthan vlogs

Ablutophobia is the overwhelming fear of bathing, cleaning, or washing. It’s an anxiety disorder that falls under the category of specific phobias, according to Healthline.

Speaking about the phobia to The Blade, Dr Siva Yechoor from The Toledo Clinic said: "Ablutophobia is extremely rare. Right now, we see it more often in people who are older.

"They refuse to get cleaned up, but it’s more of an avoidance behavior than a phobia."

As to who he's seen develop the condition, Dr Yechoor continued: "What happens with them is they are usually younger people who had some sort of traumatic experience.

"We had a man in his 20’s who had an almost death experience in a body of water, and developed this aversion and fear of even going into the shower or taking a bath."

Amou Haji passed way in October 2022.
YouTube/Rajasthan vlogs

Genetics and brain function may also play a part in developing ablutophobia.

Symptoms include sweating, rapid heartbeat, panic attacks and difficulty breathing.

Ablutophobia seems to be treated like many other mental health conditions - through therapy. A person might be advised to try cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), as well as exposure therapy.

Betablockers or sedatives may also be prescribed to help with the symptoms of the condition.

Topics: Iran, Health, Mental Health, World News