So much in life is yet to be discovered and so much will be a mystery to us. If you’re an observer, you know how many new things we discover knowingly and unknowingly. But this 82-year-old man made it through life without seeing a single female.

Yup, here’s the story of Michael Tolotos, who lived his entire life at a monastery on Mount Athos in Greece. 

Mount Athos, Greece

Reportedly, Tolotos was born somewhere around 1856 and had never seen his mother as she shortly died after giving birth to him. Since he was abandoned at the steps of a monastery atop Mount Athos, the Orthodox Monks adopted him. He was raised and tutored in the monastery.

Mount Athos had a strict policy of banning women in the monastery. As per reports, this law called Άβατον (avaton) in Greek was set up in the year 1046 by the Byzantine emperor Constantine Monomachos.


Michael Tolotos, who was raised in the monastery, never ventured into the outer world. He might have learned about the existence of women from his peers or descriptions in books but never saw one in his life.

Following this, Tolotos went on with his life in the monastery until 1938, when he passed away at the age of 82. An Athens newspaper published a story that said Michael Tolotos never beheld an automobile, a movie, or an airplane.


He was given a special burial ceremony by all the monks as they believed he was the only man in the world who had died without knowing what a woman looked like.

It is said that even today, only male tourists are allowed to enter the monastery.