Why Are These Brightly Painted Rocks Showing Up All Over Malta?

Gotta catch 'em all

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In what is perhaps one of the most adorable trends to hit Malta this year, colourfully-painted rocks are showing up all over the islands, and they're only inspiring countless others to show up in their place.

It turns out that the initiative, aptly named Malta Rocksis a collaboration between local creatives A Bird With A French Fry and Doodlehead. "The idea is very simple," the organisers explained. "Find a rock, decorate it or write a message on it and hide it somewhere so that somebody else can find it." Malta Rocks recommend using a sealer to protect the artworks, and they also encourage participants to write the group's name and draw the Facebook logo on the back, so that anyone who stumbles across these rocks can join in on the online discussions and sharing of photos.

And what's even more adorable, is how much this new trend has caught on. Malta Rocks was announced earlier in July, but in the last couple of weeks, countless of rocks have been painted on, hidden all over the island, and found by new people. The incentive seems to have peaked the interest of loads of Maltese families, with parents and children alike scouring for hidden rocks around the island.

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The rules to playing this new game are both simple and optional. Anyone who comes across a painted rock can decide to either keep it or re-hide it. Whatever you choose to do, however, Malta Rocks encourages you to share a photo on their Facebook group so the owner knows it's been found. Also, if you do decide to keep it, you can always go ahead and paint a rock yourself and hide that instead.

Even the process to hiding is open to a couple of different options. "You can either hide it somewhere and keep it a secret, or you can post the approximate location in our Facebook page to get people curious," the organisers explained. And it does seem like one of the most exciting steps of all is actually finding one, either by accident or thanks to the hints posted on the group. A list of locations - ranging from Marsascala to Gozo - is available online, and while it's regularly updated with known locations, you can be sure there are way more colourful rocks hiding all over the archipelago in the unlikeliest places. 

It all feels like an even more adorable version of Pokémon Go, with even more surprises and the promise of a physical souvenir to keep at the end of the day. 

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And allow us to be the first to say, this idea rrrr... equires a lot of patience.

Tag a friend who'd love to go rock hunting with you!

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Written By

David Grech Urpani

Sarcastically ironic, Dave is a recovering hipster musician with a penchant for chicken, women's clothes and Kanye.