A 24-year-old man from Catalonia, Spain named Manel Munoz has had two fins implanted into his skull. Munoz, who is known artistically as Manel De Aguas claims to identify as a “trans-species,” which means that he wants to live his life, at least partly, as another species.
The silicone fins that have been attached to each side of his head help him fit in with his “cyborg” identity.
Munoz says that he has never felt entirely human, so he has sought to become the person he truly believes himself to be.
Munoz says that the fins are connected to a microchip that allows him to somehow hear atmospheric pressure, humidity, and changes in temperature.
Munoz traveled to Japan to have the fins installed earlier this year.
He said that he was prepared for criticism from people who don’t understand his way of life, but he says that he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about his decisions.
After the operation, he said he knew it might be strange to some people, but he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about it.
“The skin area is sore. And I remove the fins to sleep and bathe. I’m used to people looking at me in the street, but the truth is it doesn’t bother me,” he said.
Munoz said that the procedure to get the fins installed is “difficult to explain if you don’t experience it”
He says that the implant now creates “a vibratory sound that travels through the bone.”
Munoz considers himself to be one of the top advocates for the trans-species community, and founded the Trans-species Society in 2017 along with Neil Harbisson and dancer Moon Ribas.
Moon Ribas is famous for having implants placed in her feet that allow her to feel earthquakes using seismic sensors. Meanwhile, Harbisson is the first cyborg to be legally recognized by the government.
The Trans-species society says that it is “giving voice to trans-species identities; raising awareness on issues trans-species face; advocating the freedom of self-design and offering the development of new senses and organs.”
Munoz says that there is a deeper meaning to the trans-species movement.
“To this day, man lives in a sort of anthropocentric bubble, seeing nature in a vertical hierarchical ladder in which man is above other species, and for me, this project also means breaking with that,” Munoz says.
Munoz was born entirely colorblind, but he has had an antenna implanted in the top of his skull which apparently allows him to hear and feel colors through vibrations that go through his head.
He says that it allows him to see colors that aren’t visible to the average human, such as ultraviolet, for example.
“I see this as a body part, not a device, but as an organ. And I don’t wear an antenna, I have an antenna. So I see this as part of me,” he says.
Cyborg-artist Manel de Aguas tests the "weather fins" he surgically implanted into his head.
They allow him to perceive and hear weather elements such as atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity, as sound. pic.twitter.com/uVTOlW0kFU
— Biohackinfo 🇸🇪 (@biohackinfo) August 1, 2020