Isn’t it amazing how far some people will go for “likes”? For example, near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, in Russia, social media influencers have been posing in a turquoise-colored lake. The water may be beautiful but it is toxic, according to a nearby power plant.
BBC reports that the artificial lake, nicknamed “Novosibirsk Maldives”, has been a popular destination for social media users since June. There is no denying that the turquoise water is gorgeous in contrast to the dark green of the Siberian forest. But, appearances can be deceiving.
The bright color is the result of calcium salt and metal oxides due to the dumping of CHP-5 ash. Because Instagram “influencers” have been wading into the water for selfies, the power company Siberian Generating Company (SGK) recently posted a statement: “DO NOT swim in the ash dump.”
After explaining that there is a hypothetical probability that people could get stuck in the ash at the bottom of the water and find themselves trapped, SGK concluded: “THEREFORE, WE ARE ASKING – DON’T GET INTO THE ASH DUMP IN THE PURSUIT OF A SELFIE!.”The plant also insisted that the ash dump was “NOT poisonous,” and that its radioactivity levels had been checked by independent investigators.
Unfortunately, the warning seems to have had the opposite effect. Social media users continue to show up at the picturesque lake for selfies. One social media user posted a photo of herself on the bank of the lake with the caption: “It’s not Chernobyl, of course, but it’s still dangerous!”
Another posted a photo of himself relaxing in a unicorn inflatable while wearing a balaclava. He even tagged the power plant. The caption reads:
“It’s not dangerous to swim here. The next morning, my legs turned slightly red and itched for two days, but then everything went. But what wouldn’t you do for the sake of such pictures?”
He then added that “the water tastes a little sour”.
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Another user, Leo Alexey, has dedicated an entire Instagram page to the ash dump selfies. He told BBC that he has already visited the lake four times. Of course, he just “stood next to it” and “watched” other people swim in the contaminated water. He wrote, ”It is not advisable to touch the water. It may cause allergies.”
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