Toxic lake in Russia’s Siberia becomes selfie sensation

Weird

In this Friday, July 12, 2019 photo, a couple take a selfie by a lake in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (AP Photo/Ilnar Salakhiev)

MOSCOW (AP) — Residents of a city in Siberia don’t need to fly off to tropical locales for picturesque selfies taken by pristine turquoise waters. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents — ranging from scantily clad women to newlyweds — have been busy instagramming near a bright blue lake nicknamed the “Siberian Maldives.”

The lake is blue, however, due to a chemical reaction between toxic waste elements from a local power station. Environmentalists are warning people against coming into contact with the water.

“We can compare it only with photos of the Maldives,” said Sergey Griva, a local who visited the lake, adding he’s never been to the Maldives and couldn’t find it on a map.

Dmitry Shakhov, a Russian environmentalist, warned that the water in the lake can cause allergic reactions or even chemical burns if ingested or touched.

“This water is saturated with heavy metals (and) harmful substances,” he said.

The Siberian Generating Company said Friday it has deployed guards to keep trespassers at bay, but insists the lake presents no environmental danger.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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