Picturesque Lake Popular on Instagram is Actually a Chemical Waste Dump


"WE ESPECIALLY REQUEST THAT IN THE PURSUIT OF SELFIES YOU DON'T FALL IN THE ASH DUMP", the power plant's operator, Siberian Generating Company, said in an all-caps warning shared to the Russian social networking site VK in June.

"Walking in the ash dump is like walking on a military training ground: risky and undesired", the company told local media in June.

"THIS IS THE BIGGEST RISK", the statement said of the lake officially known as Novosibirsk TEZ-5. The crisp turquoise waters provided a ideal backdrop for photo shoots, selfies, and Instagram posts.

But despite warnings that the artificial pond contains unsafe calcium salts and other metal oxides, it has remained a popular site for selfies, wedding parties and scantily clad photoshoots. There's just one small problem: It's not a pristine wilderness, but a man-made toxic waste dump.

The rep added the bottom of the pond is also very muddy, which could cause swimmers to become trapped.

The lengthy advisory, however, appears to have done little to quell the flow of visitors, marking the latest example of the lengths to which people will go for the ideal Instagram photo.

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Social media influencers have been flocking the place to get photos from in front of the exotic-looking water body.

A post claimed that so many tourists had started visiting the site that thieves had started breaking into cars while visitors took photos.

From women posing in bikinis to newlyweds dancing on the lake's dirt banks and even visitors riding inflatable unicorns, the backdrop for the photos is literally to die for.

But there's a reason the water looks so otherworldly, and it's not good. He said the next day his legs "turned slightly red and itched for about two days". It is the largest of its kind in Siberia, according to the Guardian.

"In the last week, our ash dump has become a celebrity on social networks", the Siberian Generating Company said last month, warning potential visitors not to drink the water and saying that even "skin contact with the water can lead to an allergic reaction".

Swimmers may not be able to escape the risky waters, the company warned.