Avoiding Rent for 22 Years, Meet the Sandcastle King of Brazil

Beachfront property is hard to come by and is usually limited to those with a hefty savings account. But on one small strip of beach in Brazil, one man resides there entirely rent or mortgage-free. For the last 22 years, Brazil’s Marcio Mizael Matolias has avoided paying rent, or any bills for that matter, in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious neighborhoods, Barra da Tijuca. How? By living in a sandcastle that he built himself…

The King

For over two decades, 44-year-old Matolias, known by locals as ‘King Marcio’, has lived in a sandcastle on the beach of Barra da Tijuca. Living up to his name, Matolias built a royal throne for himself outside his sandcastle and can always be seen wearing a plastic crown and carrying a makeshift staff.

Sandy Dwelling

Decorative sandcastles or statues are a common sight along the main beaches in Rio de Janeiro, which are made into tourist attractions by the locals who exchange photo opportunities for loose change. However, Matolias is the first to build a sandcastle as a home and his efforts reflect the reality of high housing costs for many of Rio’s people.

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