The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years. Even though the sandpile model serves as the archetypical model to study self-organized criticality, questions about its characteristics are still open and remain an active field of research. Researchers have now discovered a new property of this mathematical model: they managed to induce dynamics in the self-similar fractal patterns reminiscent of sand dunes in the desert.