Inside the world’s weirdest homes – from the 16-year-old billionaire who has a zoo with 500 animals to man who lives inside a sandcastle
His unique house is one of six featured in a new documentary, The World's Weirdest Homes.
The Channel 4 show sees architect and presenter Charlie Luxton travel to far-flung destinations such as Arizona in the US, Dubai and Rio de Janiero to meet people who have chosen to live somewhere unusual.
From the entrepreneur who lives on a version of Noah's Ark – complete with wooden beasts – to the scientists living on an exact replica of Mars, Sun Online takes a look at some of the most bonkers places people call home.
The billionaire's zoo with a celeb following
Name: The Private Zoo
Who lives there? Rashed Belhasa
The son of billionaire UAE construction tycoon, Saif Ahmed Belhasa, Rashed is used to flaunting his luxurious lifestyle online, posting several videos from the room he has just to house his growing trainer collection.
But nothing has drawn attention as much as his impressive private zoo in the grounds of his dad's opulently-decorated mega mansion.
Rashed's collection of living beasts includes lions, tigers, panthers, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes and bears, all with pets ostentatiously named after his favourite brands – Versace, Armani and Dior.
The zoo has attracted a number of celebrities, from singer Mariah Carey to Cristiano Ronaldo, Jackie Chan and Floyd Mayweather.
Rashed says the younger animals get to come inside for snuggles, and claims he is the only 16 year old in the world with his own zoo.
However, he has come under fire from people who have branded the zoo cruel, but says his father inspired him to help animals after he started taking in neglected creatures from other private zoos.
"We don't make profit from it," says Rashed. "When I went to Kenya I saw lions dying because they only ate once a month. Here they eat every single day."
Life on Mars?
Name: Mars Desert Research Station
Who lives there? A group of eight scientists
With plans to eventually form a colony on Mars – and Elon Musk saying he wants to put people on the red planet by 2024, it seems important that humans are well prepared.
That's where the Mars Desert Research Station comes in. Built in the early noughties, it is a replica space station where scientists live exactly as if it were Mars, 24/7.
The base is located in the remote desert of Utah near the small town of Hanksville.
The area looks very like Mars due to the barren red rock, mountains and sand, as well as similar rock types to those found on the Red Planet.
The tiny base, where eight scientists live on a rotating basis, is smaller than an average London one-bed flat and features bunk beds in tiny closet-style rooms.
They have just one toilet to share, and are only able to eat freeze-dried food as if they are in Space.
"People tell us that we are running around playing dress-up in a spacesuit, but it's not like that at all," says Dr Shannon Rupert, who heads up the project.
The ark built to 'save humanity from sin'
Name: Noah's Ark
Location: The Netherlands
Who lives there? Dutch entrepreneur Aad Peters
In 2005, Johan Huibers, a Dutch Christian fundamentalist, decided to build a replica of Noah's Ark as he wanted to save humanity from sin after having a vision.
Painstakingly crafted, the replica is 70 metres long, 9.5 metres wide, 13 metres high and made of steel, pine and cedar.
In 2010, Huibers sold the ark for £900,000 to Aad Peters, an entrepreneur who wanted to sail the vessel around Northern Europe with live animals on board including camels and elephants – two-by-two of course.
However, Aad was forced to concede three months later that unlike in the Biblical Story, an ark is not a suitable home for animals, so he took them off board.
"There's not a lot of space…it's like camping on sea," says Aad. "If the wind blows it and you're lying shivering under five blankets you wonder 'am I stupid?' but it is what it is. If you choose to do something you have to do it."
Last year, he collided with a few other boats during a storm, and it's also caught fire.
At present, it is currently anchored by a car park and is a museum filled with wooden animals, but Aad says he plans to sail the high seas once it is repaired.
The 'King of the Castle' who wees in the sea
Name: Sandcastle House
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Who lives there? Marcio Mizael Matolias
Sea views are desired by many of us – and Rio de Janeiro resident Marcio Mizael Matolia has found a nifty way to get a prime spot without the hefty price tag.
For the past 22 years, the self-styled "King of the Castle", who is adorned with a plastic crown, has lived inside his sandcastle.
He says the seat outside is his "pulpit", where he sits for people to come and "pay respect" to him and donate money to him to help him live in his strange structure.
The impressive creation, in an exclusive neighbourhood surrounded by luxury flats worth millions, has 40 turrets, which he made by hand using sand, driftwood and water.
However, though it looks great from the outside, Marcio's living space is a six metre square room held up by a wooden frame.
"I dug a hole, then put some wood underneath so it didn't sink," says Marcio. "It's a real work of architecture and engineering."
Unsurprisingly, there are some setbacks with this set up. He doesn't have amenities such as a toilet so he uses public loos when he needs a poo and wees in the sea.
In the rainy season his castle washes away, meaning it needs constant repairs. It takes between six and eight hours to make a couple of towers, so he can find this incredibly frustrating.
An off-grid floating farm with whales as neighbours
Name: Freedom Cove
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Who lives there? Wayne Adams and Catherine King
The pair have lived on the secluded farm, which floats on the ocean and weighs 500 tonnes – the same as a ship – for 26 years.
The home, which is anchored to shore using lines like a giant spider's web, boasts huge areas of garden, a multi-coloured house, art gallery, dance floor and even a lighthouse.
It's here that Catherine grows fruit and vegetables while Wayne, who built all of Freedom Cove himself, creates additions to their home in his workshop. The pair also fish from a hole in the floor.
However, the house has regularly suffered from severe storm damage as it's built in an area known for high winds.
The pair say the roof has blown off several times, and various sections of it have been completely destroyed at times.
The 104ft tall treehouse with 304 windows
Name: Falcon's Nest
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Who lives there? Tarot readers Ernst and Srishti
Ernst and Srishti often ran around the countryside near their home in Arizona, dreaming of owning the very peculiar building they'd go past.
Falcon's Nest towers at over 104ft high and with 10 floors, is the tallest single-family home on the planet. It was out of the couple's price range at £1.4million ($1.8million) – but an accident last year changed everything.
The sporty pair were out on one of their regular runs when they were run over by a pick-up truck.
Their insurance payout meant they would be in a position to buy it and they jumped at the chance.
With stunning views over Arizona, the main living area has 2,400 square feet of space all the way up on the sixth floor.
However, it takes a lot of maintenance: two days to clean all 304 windows using a special brush as they are so high up, and several people in the town complained about the building, calling it an eyesore.
And the couple also admit their unusual abode attracts a lot of attention, with people pulling up outside in the cars to take photos on a regular basis.
"Our home is a tourist attraction," they tell Charlie Luxton.
That's certainly something you can say for all these other unusual buildings too.
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