And you thought your college roommate was bad.
Amou Haji is eighty years old. He lives in Iran. And he hasn’t bathed since the Eisenhower administration. After experiencing a series of devastating setbacks as a young man several decades ago, Amou Haji decided to become a hermit. He currently resides outside of Dejgah, a rural village in southern Iran. Why isn’t he eager to practice basic hygiene? It’s because Haji believes that cleanliness causes people to get sick.
But Haji doesn’t hold the official record for uncleanliness. A 66 year-old Indian man named Kailash Singh currently holds the world record for forsaking showering—a mere 38 years. If his claims could be verified, Haji would easily snag the title. He claims that he hasn’t bathed since 1954.
The hermit, whose first name is actually a nickname that means “kind old man,” also detests fresh food and clean drinking water. He much prefers to dine on rotting animal carcasses and gets water from a rusty oilcan he uses to catch rain. In addition to smoking animal dung to relax, he also enjoys the occasional cigarette—he likes to light up five at once.
The hermit considers the earth his home and, during much of the year, he lives in a hole in the ground. Haji says that it keeps him in touch with reality. He also sometimes sleeps in a brick shack that was built for him by a group of sympathetic villagers.
Haji isn’t completely opposed to keeping clean. He often checks his appearance in a mirror and trims his beard and hair by burning them over a campfire. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop him from running away when a group of youngsters from Dejgah tried to coax him into showering.
Oh, and ladies? In case you were wondering, yes, he’s single. Haji’s in the market for a girlfriend.