Marcio Mizael Matolias is king of the beach in Rio de Janerio. Literally.
For 22 years, Matolias, now 44 years old, has lived on the beach at Barra da Tijuca, rent free, in a giant sandcastle. He’s become such a fixture he’s earned the name of “King Marcio” and is happy to pose for photos on a throne, a crown on his head and a scepter in his hand.
“I grew up in the Bay of Guanabara, I always lived on the beach. People pay exorbitant rents to live in front of the sea, I do not have bills and here I have a good life,” he told the Daily Mirror.
But despite the regal digs, Matolias doesn’t have legions of servants to tend to him. He himself maintains the castle and does repairs daily. To prevent the whole thing from collapsing, the sand must be constantly watered.
Matolias is childless, unmarried, and doesn’t work. When he isn’t maintaining his estate he likes to read, play golf, and lounge on the beach.
The only drawback he can think of is sometimes not being able to sleep at night. “The sand holds all the heat, so sometimes at night I can not sleep here, I’ll spend the night at a friend’s house, but I prefer it here even if I have to lie outside by the sea,” he said.
Marcio’s castle had something of a parallel in the U.S. in the form of a three-story house made entirely of scrap wood.
Ex-pro boxer Bob Anderson built the home on a small peninsula in the San Francisco bay. The structure was torn down, however, after it was found not to meet safety standards.
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