Months after taking his first bath in decades, an Iranian man who was known as the “world’s dirtiest man” died last Sunday at the age of 94.

Amou Haji, who reportedly shunned bathing for over fifty years in fear it would make him sick, eventually succumbed to pressure and washed a few months ago.

As reported by Iran’s IRNA news agency, Haji became ill shortly after his first bath and died last Sunday.

He lived in the southern province of Fars, and had avoided numerous attempts by villagers to get him clean, the BBC reported.

Speaking to Tehran Times in 2014, Haji said his favourite meal was porcupine.

He also revealed that he lived between a hole in the ground and a brick shack built by concerned neighbours in the village of Dejgah.

His unusual choices were down to “emotional setbacks” when he was younger, Haji revealed back then.

Media reports say years of not bathing had left him with skin covered in “soot and pus” while his diet had consisted of rotten meat and unsanitary water drunk from an old oil can.

Haji was also fond of smoking, being pictured on at least one occasion puffing on more than one cigarette at once.

Attempts to bathe him, or offer him clean water to drink, made him sad, the news agency said.

However, whether he holds the record for having gone the longest without taking a bath has been a matter of some debate. Back in 2009, there were reports of an Indian man who had – at that point – not washed or brushed his teeth for 35 years. What had happened to him since was not immediately clear. [online]