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How Did These Guys Pull Off a Viral Buried Treasure Hoax in Calif?

"It's chocolate!"

Fully opening the chest to the glee of spectators. (Image: YouTube screenshot)

On any given day at the beach, you're bound to see treasure hunters casing the sand with metal detectors, but they often come up empty handed. Over Memorial Day weekend, those on Venice Beach in California were elated when they watched a group of men dig up what appeared to be buried treasure.

Turns out the chest full of gold coins wasn't worth much -- unless you're a chocolate lover. If that's the case, you're in luck as it was full of about $100 worth of chocolate.

The video detailing the events has gone viral since its posting on Tuesday. It shows a group of men explaining how they plan to bury the chest in the sand at 2 a.m. and return to the beach at noon to pretend they had stumbled upon the find of a lifetime.

(Related: How much is all the world's sunken treasure worth?)

In the video the men let others in on their secret as they're traveling with the chest on the top of their car to Venice Beach. Unfortunately, many along their route thought the trunk looked more like something from Harry Potter and not what you would expect of a treasure chest, but it didn't seem to make a difference when it was being dug out of the sand.

The crowd got so excited when the top was freed from the sand that they began chanting "Open it!" At one point, someone who appears to be an authority -- or at least speaks in an authoritative voice and has a walkie-talkie -- asks "Did you guys find this? You didn't plant this here?" Soon after, they completely flip open the lid and the crowd goes wild. In the video's description, it states among those tricked was Dave Levine from Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker."

Watch the men hatch their plan and see the reactions of beachgoers for yourself (Warning: Some strong language). Skip to 1:33 to see them burying the chest and 2:12 to see them in action the next day digging it up:

At about 5:11, someone yells "It's chocolate!" It's hard to tell if the crowd is truly upset over this revelation, but at least they begin passing out the sweets to placate the spectators.

CBS affiliate in Los Angeles reports the team of four men conducting this prank are aspiring actors from Utah. So far they're beginning to reach Internet stardom as their video has reached nearly a half a million view on YouTube and has been reposted several times.

The YouTube description thanks those who fell for this prank and "made this video worth more than gold."

[H/T Buzzfeed]

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