Sand Dune Social Media Stunt Causes Outrage

This is the shocking moment evnvironmentally vulnerable sand dunes were wiped out after a stunt by YouTube influencers to promote a music festival went wrong.

Footage from the vulnerable Maspalomas Dunes on Spain’s Grand Canaria shows scores of teenagers and young music fans hacking away at the ancient sands with shovels and rakes.

They had reportedly been sent there by a group of social media influencers.

But instead of creating traditional ads, they staged a treasure hunt saying they had buried EUR 1,000 in an attache case somewhere on the island.

Videos announcing the treasure hunt were shot beside a beach with dunes in the distance.

In one ad a map of the island showed a possible location on the island’s southern tip, exactly where the dunes are.

And at one point a plane flew past towing a banner with what appeared to be part of a map grid referencing it.

They said in the social media stunt: “The first one to find it gets it. As Gran Canaria is very big, we are going to be uploading a daily reel with a search that will bring you closer to EUR 1,000. Three videos, three searches, EUR 1,000.”

Within hours, scores of treasure hunters were reportedly trampling all over the Maspalomas Dunes on 24th February digging for the treasure.

The dunes have been a protected nature reserve since 1987 and they are home to dozens of rare and protected wildlife species.

Tourists are not even allowed to walk on them without permission.

The stunt outraged social media users on the island.

One, Juan Miguel Garrido, said on X: “TERRIBLE: Dozens of young people, gathered by ‘youtubers’, yesterday attacked the Dunes of Maspalomas (Gran Canaria), a SPECIAL NATURAL RESERVE, with bags, shovels, rakes… in search of hidden 1,000 euros.”

Now prosecutors are investigating the organisers of the festival and the three YouTubers they hired.

The island’s Department of Environment has also opened an investigation into the incident.