Influencers Have Accidentally Been Posing In A Toxic Lake

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It can't be easy being an influencer. You need to create the illusion of a perfect life as you travel through a perfectly picturesque world. You've got to know your light and your angles and always be on the lookout for that scenic shot. Some are so committed they will put themselves in danger, even wading into the unsafe waters of a polluted artificial lake.

This is happening in Russia, where a lake built as a power plant ash dump near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk has suddenly become a popular destination due to its gorgeous turquoise waters. Since the beginning of June people have been heading there to have a dip in its waters and take petty pictures. One Instagram user described the lake as the Novosibirsk Maldives, and we have to admit the color of the water contrasted against the dark green of the Siberian forest makes for some quite beautiful scenery.

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But beauty doesn’t mean safety. The Siberian Generating Company (SGK), which runs the plant and pumps the ash into the lake, has put out a warning about swimming in it, explaining the cause of its vivid aqua color. They posted the information on June 10 on the Russian social network VKontakte, a week after the ash dump became a viral sensation in Russia.

The extraordinary hue is due to calcium salts and other metal oxides present in the 1-to-2-meter-deep (3-6-foot-deep) body of water. However, the company argues that this cocktail of substances is not inherently toxic and certainly not radioactive, as some have reported. SGK stresses that this has been tested by two independent laboratories.

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The water is not deadly but it is more alkaline than most and the oxides could lead to allergic reactions. The real danger is not from the content of the water but what lies beneath it. The lakebed is muddy with deposits from the plant. The energy company warns that people walking into the lake might get trapped, unable to get back out without help.

While the color of this lake is due to the polluting hand of humans, some lakes, like Lake Pukaki in New Zealand, are beautifully turquoise in their natural state. Their color is usually due to the presence of certain sediments like calcium. 

[H/T: BBC News]

 

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