A lake in Novosibirsk, Russia has gone viral recently for its vibrant turquoise blue water, causing dozens of tourists wielding cameras to flock to it in hopes of capturing that picture-perfect Instagram shot. It’s even been dubbed as the "Siberian Maldives" because of the serene clear waters surrounding the tropical country. Unfortunately, as it turns out, Novosibirsk’s natural wonder isn’t all it’s chalked up to be. The ugly truth? It’s actually a man-made ash dump!
As revealed on a post by Siberian Generating Company (SGK), the company responsible for the lake, the reservoir is actually being used to dump ash burned from the power plant nearby. Alarmed by the hazardous water’s growing popularity, the power plant’s operator released a warning on a Russian social networking site last month. “In the last week, our ash dump has become a celebrity on social networks,” they acknowledged, before revealing that while the water isn’t poisonous, skin contact could cause a severe allergic reaction to anyone who attempts to swim in it.
The company warned, “We are requesting, don’t get into the ash dump to take a selfie!” They also reiterated that, due to its muddy bottom, attempting to get out of the reservoir by yourself may be impossible to do.
According to the company, the water’s entrancing blue color is caused by calcium salts and other metal oxides, mixed with the fact that it also has a high pH level. “Walking in the ash dump is like walking on a military training ground: dangerous and undesired,” they further warned on a Russian news site last June.
Despite this clear warning, the Siberian Maldives’ popularity on Instagram hasn’t lost steam one bit. In fact, people continue to adore the area so much that it even has its own Instagram account now, with over 3000 followers!
A recent post just a day ago showed a man dangling his legs over the water while riding an inflatable unicorn, as pink and orange smoke seemingly leaks out from its behind. In response to the photo, a commenter posted, “Breathing in that smoke is healthier than swimming in there.”
It looks like an engaged couple even took their pre-nup shots by the lake. But hey, at least they didn’t skinny dip in the water, right?
We can’t say the same for this guy gamely posing for a photo while on a paddle board, though. Here’s hoping he didn’t tip over after!
With a defiant culture hell-bent on getting the perfect IG shot, despite its clear dangers, one question remains: Have we taken the saying "content is life" too far?