Amazon Jungle’s ‘Loneliest Man’ Found Dead Decades After His Tribe Was Wiped Out

Amazon Jungle’s ‘Loneliest Man’ Found Dead Decades After His Tribe Was Wiped Out

A primitive jungle dweller who became known as the world’s “loneliest man” and “the man of the hole” after his entire Brazilian rainforest tribe was wiped out nearly three decades ago has been found dead.

The man, who lived alone for at least 26 years after poachers, ranchers, and plunderers killed off all his fellow tribe members, had no contact with the civilized world. He lived in the Amazon’s Rondonia state, where he wore only a loincloth and dug deep holes to hide in, according to researchers, who tracked him and sometimes left supplies for him.

“No outsider knew this man’s name, or even very much about his tribe — and with his death the genocide of his people is complete,” said Fiona Watson, advocacy director for Survival International. “For this was indeed a genocide — the deliberate wiping out of an entire people by cattle ranchers hungry for land and wealth.”

‘Man of the Hole’: Last known member of uncontacted Amazon tribe dies

— New York Post (@nypost) August 29, 2022

The man’s body was last week found lying on a hammock, and he appears to have died of natural causes, according to Funai, Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency. Officials will conduct an autopsy.

The man was first spotted in 1996, but would always flee when he saw outsiders, many of whom sought to give him seeds or tools. He once shot and seriously wounded a Funai agent with a bow and arrow.

Government officials left him alone after that, and the man is believed to have sustained himself by gathering fruit and hunting and trapping animals while living in a thatched hut.

Brazil released a video in 2018 that showed the man chopping down a tree with a hand-made axe.

The elusive man wore only loincloth and fled at the sight of strangers. (Survival International)

No one knows exactly how long the man lived alone, but it is believed that a final attack by farmers in late 1995 killed his remaining five fellow tribe members,

“After the last farmer attack in late 1995, the group that was probably already small — from reports, the local staff believed [it] to be six people — became one person,” Funai officials said in a statement accompanying the video. “The guilty were never punished.”

Funai officials estimate there are 113 uncontacted tribes in the Brazilian Amazon. They occasionally fire arrows harmlessly at aircraft flying overhead and run and hide if people from the civilized world approach.