Barcelona police on Saturday had to rescue two Japanese tourists who had walked into a busy road tunnel in search of Pokémon.
At first police thought the pair were lost because they were staring intently at a tablet and mobile phone as if looking for a way out of the Rovira tunnel, a 1,270 metre-long tunnel in which pedestrians and cyclists are forbidden.
But when police stopped the two tourists at around 11am, they discovered they were in fact “hunting Pokémon” on the new game Pokémon Go, police sources told Spanish news agency, Efe.
The man and woman were escorted out by police, who told them they could not walk through because of the danger posed by the vehicles travelling at high speeds through the tunnel.
Pokémon Go, the smartphone-based version of the classic 1990s game, became available in Spain on Friday, July 15th, but has already amassed huge popularity.
Players have been uploading photos of their caught Pokémon to social media, many caught in some of Spain’s most famous sites.
— Miausu (@Azu_Nei) July 15, 2016
A pokemon in Madrid's metro with the comment: “Now Madrid Metro has an excuse for the breakdowns.”
Churches, cemeteries and world heritage sites in Spain have already reported being inundated with gamers, which according to the game's in-built map are excellent places to find and capture rare Pokémon.
One gamer quipped: “My mother spend 15 years trying to get me to go to church, Pokémon GO succeeded in just two days. There was a Pikachu.”
The game has proved an instant global success making an estimated $1.6 million a day from iPhone users in the US alone, and Nintendo's shares have rocketed by almost 50 per cent in the last week.