‘I almost fell in one’: New TikTok trend leaves giant holes on beaches, threatening turtles

There’s a new social media trend that’s creating a big problem on Southwest Florida beaches. People are digging giant holes on the beach and leaving before they fill them in.Related video above: This viral TikTok avocado hack is a bad ideaWhile there’s nothing wrong with actually digging the hole, leaving it wide open is dangerous to humans and wildlife.”You come and you make castles, you dig holes,” said Holly Smith, mayor of Sanibel.People are going through a lot of trouble just to film a TikTok. Holes, some as deep as 5 feet and as wide as 4 feet, have been found all over Sanibel. Many thanks to a new social media challenge. But the real challenge is what could happen to our turtles if left unfilled, or to whoever has to fill them in.”I almost fell in one,” said Allison Ward, who walks the beach every morning and found the holes.You might fall in too if you’re doing the “Sanibel Stoop” looking for shells or even taking a midnight walk under the stars. These holes aren’t typically what you’d expect to see. Rather, they’re more like shafts up to five feet deep and four feet wide.”I’ve seen indentations, but I’ve never seen holes like this before,” Ward said.She spotted some last week and even more on Monday morning.”I found four holes, but two of them were especially deep,” she said.It took the power of Sanibel’s Public Works team to get them patched up.”When we’re looking at the depth and size of some of these holes that we’ve found on the beach, this wasn’t just really a sandcastle,” Smith said.The same is happening down the coast on Marco Island. The Marco Island Police Department posted a picture of a giant hole found on their beach.”There was some TikTok challenges saying ‘How deep can you dig,'” said Smith.”I don’t care if they dig to China, just fill it in before they leave,” Ward added.It’s not just for us, but for the sea turtles. This time of year the beach is very busy, even when you’re fast asleep.”We have moms on the beach at night. We have babies going to the water at night,” said Kelly Sloan, the Coastal Wildlife Director at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF). “They face so many threats already. This is one small thing we can all do to help them.”So here’s the rule: if you dig a hole, fill it back in. If you build it, smash it down before someone else comes to do it for you.If you really want to leave your mark on Sanibel, there’s only one good way to do so.”Leave only footprints,” Smith said.

There’s a new social media trend that’s creating a big problem on Southwest Florida beaches. People are digging giant holes on the beach and leaving before they fill them in.

Related video above: This viral TikTok avocado hack is a bad idea

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While there’s nothing wrong with actually digging the hole, leaving it wide open is dangerous to humans and wildlife.

“You come and you make castles, you dig holes,” said Holly Smith, mayor of Sanibel.

People are going through a lot of trouble just to film a TikTok. Holes, some as deep as 5 feet and as wide as 4 feet, have been found all over Sanibel. Many thanks to a new social media challenge. But the real challenge is what could happen to our turtles if left unfilled, or to whoever has to fill them in.

“I almost fell in one,” said Allison Ward, who walks the beach every morning and found the holes.

You might fall in too if you’re doing the “Sanibel Stoop” looking for shells or even taking a midnight walk under the stars. These holes aren’t typically what you’d expect to see. Rather, they’re more like shafts up to five feet deep and four feet wide.

“I’ve seen indentations, but I’ve never seen holes like this before,” Ward said.

She spotted some last week and even more on Monday morning.

“I found four holes, but two of them were especially deep,” she said.

It took the power of Sanibel’s Public Works team to get them patched up.

“When we’re looking at the depth and size of some of these holes that we’ve found on the beach, this wasn’t just really a sandcastle,” Smith said.

The same is happening down the coast on Marco Island. The Marco Island Police Department posted a picture of a giant hole found on their beach.

“There was some TikTok challenges saying ‘How deep can you dig,'” said Smith.

“I don’t care if they dig to China, just fill it in before they leave,” Ward added.

It’s not just for us, but for the sea turtles. This time of year the beach is very busy, even when you’re fast asleep.

“We have moms on the beach at night. We have babies going to the water at night,” said Kelly Sloan, the Coastal Wildlife Director at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF). “They face so many threats already. This is one small thing we can all do to help them.”

So here’s the rule: if you dig a hole, fill it back in. If you build it, smash it down before someone else comes to do it for you.

If you really want to leave your mark on Sanibel, there’s only one good way to do so.

“Leave only footprints,” Smith said.

Contributed by local news sources

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