Marcio Mizael Matolias does not need much to live. Some blankets, a few books, a couple of golf clubs, and fishing poles are enough for him to have a happy, content life in his castle. Oh, and sand. Like, a ridiculous amount of sand.
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Marcio Mizael Matolias, also known as “The Sand King” or “King Marcio” built his own tiny castle out of sand on Barra da Tijuca beach in Rio de Janeiro 22 years ago. Marcio explained to NowThis that, at first, he did not plan to live in his 10-square-foot creation, but he quickly realized that he was spending more time in his sand castle than his apartment, so he moved in it permanently and saved on rent.
Marcio’s lifestyle also allows him to save on property maintenance. Keeping the sand castle damp prevents it from collapsing, so armed with a bucket, he douses his home regularly. But when a dungeon crumbles to the ground or a door needs some work, it usually an easy fix — if not, he can always build another castle and have a brand new home for free. Marcio embraces this ephemeral lifestyle to the fullest.
His home is far from being palatial, but Marcio makes do. When he needs to cook, he uses the stove that sits outside his castle and he uses the facilities at the nearby fire station for a dollar. And when it gets too hot in his home, he lies by the water or heads to a friend’s house for the night.
With his crown, his scepter, and his throne, Marcio has become a celebrity to the locals and the tourists who enjoy having their pictures taken with this tiny-home pioneer. Some give him donations while other support his unusual style of living by purchasing books from the small second-hand book sale he runs beside his home.