See how self-styled king Marcio has been living rent-free on a Rio beach for the past 22 years

Living in real-estate haven Rio de Janeiro doesn't come cheap. But one man wasn't letting the prices of houses kill his dreams.

Barmy 'sand king' Marcio Mizael Matolias lives like a king on the beach of Barra da Tijuca. (Facebook)

In fact, he embarked upon an unusual journey and built an extraordinary home for himself, that surpassed even his own expectations—he built a castle for himself, albeit one made not of brick and mortar, but sand.

Matolias spends his days entertaining tourists and playing seaside golf.(Facebook)

For 22-years Marcio Mizael Matolias, a self-proclaimed king of the beach avoided paying the rent for an expensive beach-front home by building himself a sand castle on Barra da Tijuca beach of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

His castle is very popular among tourists. (Facebook)

Despite living in a temporary establishment, the 44-year-old, who is known as ‘The King’ among locals, doesn't let his passions wash away like the sand in rain and pursues his three interests keenly: reading, golf, and fishing.

He lives alone in his castle with no wife or children and quite enjoys his peaceful existence. (Facebook)

In full splendor, Matolias loves posing by his 'throne'—a makeshift chair placed in front of his castle, with a crown atop his head and scepter in hand, giving the whole 'living like a king' expression meaning and depth in the true sense.

Unlike other's living in upscale Rio who pay exorbitant rent, Matolias hasn't paid a single dime in a long time-22 years, to be precise. (Facebook)

However, unlike other standard royals across the world, ‘King Marcio’ is personally responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of his palace, be it the dungeons or the palace door. He also needs to water his home constantly to keep it from crumbling down.

The locals call him 'The King'. (Facebook)

Notwithstanding the problems he faces everyday, Matolias loves his castle and wouldn't want to trade the experience of living in one with anything in the world.

Matolias has lived in the sandcastle for 22 years. (Facebook)

“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 explained.

His castle looks stunning from the outside with a beach view to top it all, however, it only measures three square meters inside and most of the space is stacked with books.

Marcio Mizael Matolias, 44, lives inside a 3x3 room stacked with books and toys. (Facebook)

With no wife and child, Matolias's peaceful existence is interrupted rudely by only one problem—heat.

Marcio has to water the castle turrets regularly to keep the heat at bay. (Facebook)

“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.

The castle is held up by a driftwood frame surrounding the castle on all sides. (Facebook)

The king has to make sure that he constantly waters the turrets of his sand establishment to keep it from caving in on his tiny 3x3 bedroom, filled with books and childhood toys on a makeshift wooden frame. For those wondering what he does for a living? He sells second-hand books by the beach.

Matolias earns his living by selling books by the beach. (Facebook)

Come what may, Matolias loves his sand castle and wouldn' want to be anywhere else.

Customers browsing through Matolias' bookstand by the beach. (Facebook)

Living the good life, Matolias? You bet he is.

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Tarunika Rajesh


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