People of Instagram would do anything for likes, no matter how dangerous, disrespectful or stupid it is. The latest trend on Instagram is taking photos near or in “Novosibirsk Maldives,” a gorgeous azure lake in Siberia. The problem is that a nearby coal plant uses this artificial lake to dump ash, so it’s heavily polluted. But it seems that the Insta-craze has gone so far, that the company running the plant had to issue an official warning against swimming in it.
The Siberian Generating Company (Сибирская генерирующая компания) published the warning on its official VKontakte page. Roughly translated, it reads:
- Last week, our ash dump of the Novosibirsk CHP-5 became the star of social networks. We read the comments under the posts and decided to answer the most popular questions. ⠀
- The ash dump is NOT poisonous: blue gulls do not fly there, and plants do not die. The radiation is normal there: two INDEPENDENT laboratories concluded this.
But it is IMPOSSIBLE to swim in the ash dump. The water in it has a high alkaline environment. This is due to the fact that calcium salts and other metal oxides are dissolved in it. Skin contact with such water may cause an allergic reaction!
- Bottom ash dump is muddy! Getting out of the reservoir alone is almost impossible.
THEREFORE, WE ARE ASKING YOU NOT TO GET INSIDE TO TAKE A SELFIE! IT IS THE BIGGEST DANGER.
- The ash dump is needed to store ash. It remains after burning coal at the station. The ash is mixed with water and enters the ash dump through pipes. ⠀
- This is NOT a natural lake. This is (complicated), hydraulic structure. It was made by people.
- Why is the water in the ash dump blue? There are two reasons:
-Depth of the ash dump (1-2 meters);
-Calcium salts and oxides of various metals are dissolved in its water. Also, this water has a high pH level (more than 8).
If it were not for the combination of these reasons, there would be no such visual effect! For example, at the ash dump of the Novosibirsk CHP-3, which also runs on brown coal, the water is of normal color. That’s because of a smaller depth.
So, there are several possible dangers to swimming in this lake. First, you’re likely to get an allergic reaction, which is a lesser evil. An even more serious danger is getting stuck in the mud on the lake’s bottom. Still, people don’t seem to take the warning seriously, and they keep snapping all kinds of photos by the lake or in it. From cliché “oh look how cool and free-spirited I am” Instagram shots, to wedding and engagement photos.
The “Novosibirsk Maldives” seems to be so popular on Instagram, that one user even created a fan account which features photos taken at the lake. He told CNN that he has visited the place five times and plans on going more, but he knows that the water is toxic, so he doesn’t touch it. Of course, not all people care about the fact that the water is polluted.
One Instagrammer posted a photo of himself riding an inflatable unicorn in the lake. The caption reads that it’s not dangerous to swim in the lake. “The next morning, my legs turned slightly red and itched for two days, then everything was gone,” his post reads when roughly translated. Dude, that is the allergic reaction the company officials are mentioning, but okay. “But how can you not go in for the sake of taking photos like this?” He adds that the water tastes a bit sour and looks like chalk. Don’t know ‘bout you, but I’m really not into getting an allergic reaction in exchange for Instagram likes.