An Iranian hermit who was known as the "world's dirtiest man" passed away at the age of 94, months after he took his first bath in decades.

The man called Amou Haji had not used soap and water to wash himself for more than 60 years, thinking it would make him sick.

Haji used to live in Dejgah village in the southern province of Fars all alone, but on his own terms. The villagers did try to make him take a bath but all attempts remained unsuccessful, except the last one.

The hermit gave in to the pressure put on him by the villagers and agreed to take a bath. According to Iran's IRNA news agency, he became ill soon after taking the bath and died on Sunday.

In an interview given to the Tehran Times in 2014, Haji said he lived in a shack built by concerned neighbours in the village of Dejgah. He revealed that he vowed to never take a bath after facing a few "emotional setbacks" when he was younger, writes The Guardian.

He would roam around covered in soot, drinking water from an old oil can, and eating roadkill. He was extremely fond of smoking and it is reported that he would smoke a pipe filled with animal excrement. Photos of him smoking multiple cigarettes at once have gone viral on social media since he passed away.

A short documentary titled "The Strange Life of Amou Haji" was also made in 2013, wherein the makers tried to understand Haji's reasons for taking such a bizarre oath.

Even though the internet and several media reports claim that Haji holds the record for having gone the longest without taking a bath, there is no evidence to prove the same.

In 2009, several media reports claimed that an Indian man was the world's dirtiest man as he had gone without washing or brushing his teeth for 35 years. However, there have been no updates about him since.

Amou Haji had not taken a bath for more than 60 years. Image/ Sora Shimazaki: