The Spanish beach with sand that looks like popcorn – and people keep stealing it | The Sun

A TOURIST hotspot in Spain has become famous for its beaches that look like popcorn – but holidaymakers have been warned about stealing it.

Bringing souvenirs back from holidays is expected, but a beach on the Canary Islands is having big problems because tourists keep stealing its unique sand.

Visitors are said to be taking home bucketfuls of the unusually shaped "rocks", which are actually fossilised algae.

Travellers have been amazed by the sheer amount of the popcorn stones on the beach, in Fuerteventura, which is even known simply as Popcorn Beach, rather than its actual name El Hierro beach, because of it.

Although El Hierro isn't the only place where the rocks can be found, it's the only place where they appear in such great numbers.

Blogger Sophie Nadeau wrote on her website: "The popcorn beach is not even unique to the Canary Islands. These popcorn pieces can be found all over the world.

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"With this being said, there are few places where the concentration of ‘popcorn’ is quite as much!"

The beach is found in the city of Corralejo in the municipality of La Oliva.

The local government has previously launched campaigns to prevent people from taking the rocks home from the beach, claiming it is doing great harm to the beach.

Environmental officers say that every time someone takes a handful of the "popcorn" away, it makes things even worse.

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They even put on a series of information days to try and reverse the trend.

Experts have estimate that about ten kilos of the "popcorn" was being "stolen" from the beach each month – that's equivalent to five bags of sugar.

It became such a problem that in 2019 then Mayor of La Oliva, Isaí Blanco, said things were getting out of hand.

He explained that the local population had always taken small quantities of rocks to use as a decorative element in their homes.

However, the gradual influx of hundreds of thousands of tourists to Fuerteventura meant that too much was being taken away.

The Mayor said: "They are carrying them home in buckets."

Visitors are still warned about taking the stones home, with Hello Canary Islands saying that there would be empty shores if everyone took some away.

They said: 'It is vital that all visitors to Popcorn Beach remember that the white coral on the shore should never be broken up, much less put into pockets and taken home.

"Popcorn Beach is a fantastic space for visitors to enjoy. If everyone removes a bit of the beach, soon the shore will be empty."

Biologist Francisco Otero told Spanish publication El Pais explained the environmental importance of the stones.

He said that they both "absorb carbon dioxide from the sea in a way that helps combat climate change" and that "different marine species use cavities in the formations to store their eggs" .

Meanwhile, here's a list of some of the dog-friendly beaches across the UK.

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This is the full list of beaches with the cleanest water in the UK.

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