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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Real-Life Cyborg Has Two Fins Implanted Into His Skull, So He Can Sense The Weather

Manel de Aguas

Spanish artist Manel de Aguas doesn’t consider himself human, but something else. A founding member of the Trans-Species society, he uses technological implants to experience the world differently than the rest of humanity.

24-year-old Manel de Aguas first made international news headlines in August of 2017, when he built the first prototype of a device that allowed him to feel atmospheric vibrations. At the time, it was nothing more than an exposed circuit board that hung on a headband at the back of his head. The following year, he started attaching a pair of fins to the sides of his head, and announced his intention to have them implanted into his skull. Earlier this year, de Aguas did just that, turning those decorative fins into functional organs that perceive the temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure and send sounds to Manel’s brain via bone conduction.

In June of 2019, the Spanish artist sat down with VICE Magazine and explained his intention to have an artificial organ that would allow him to feel changes in temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure through his skull, implanted.


“The atmosphere will sound inside my head, and depending on the atmospheric conditions in any given moment, I will have the experience of being submerged in one type of medium or another,” the 24-year-old said. “As for the outer part, the organ will have an appearance inspired by the fins of flying fish, and I will implant a fin on each side of my head, at the same level as the temple bone in my skull.”


“I have always felt a special connection to the rain, so when I found out that there was a way to feel this sense within me, I thought it would be good to create [an organ] that would connect me even more to rain, as well as other atmospheric phenomena,” Manel added. “As for the shape of the organ, I have always been interested in marine species, both real and mythological, so the idea of creating a fin-shaped organ simply came from within.”


Manel described himself as a “propioespecie”, or his own species, his response to the anthropocentrism of today’s society, which puts human beings on the highest echelon of a false hierarchy of species.

In January of this year, Manel de Aguas was finally able to make his dream a reality. He had the artificial fins implanted into his skull at a clinic in Japan, after being refused by several doctors in Spain. The fins weigh 500 grams, can be recharged with solar energy, and can connect to various devices via Wi-Fi.


“I will be exploring the weather through this new sensory organ,” Manel de Aguas posted on Instagram, where his new look has been getting a lot of attention.

Manel de Aguas is a member of the very active Spanish TransSpecies Society, which also includes Moon Ribas, whose implant allows her to feel every earthquake in the world, and Neil Harbisson, who had an antenna implanted in his skull so he could hear colors.

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