Photo: tweezer_nsk/Instagram

Insta-Famous ‘Russia’s Maldives’ Is a Dump for Nearby Coal Plant Waste

Russia Sustainability News National Parks
by Eben Diskin Jul 10, 2019

Appearances can be deceiving. In this case, they are deceiving and dangerous.

A pond in the Russian city of Novosibirsk has been the backdrop of many an Instagrammer lately. The pond’s blue waters are an appealing shade of blue reminiscent of a tropical destination — so much so that it’s been nicknamed “Russia’s Maldives” and “Novosibirsk Maldives.”

But what appears to be a perfectly natural lake with clear blue water is actually a man-made deep ash dump from a nearby coal plant. The lovely turquoise color is reportedly the result of dissolved calcium and metal oxides.

Although the Siberian Generating Company, which owns the plant, says the pond isn’t poisonous, it also cautions people against swimming in it. On its on social media, the company even wrote, “We beg you not to fall into the ash dump in the pursuit of selfies! That’s the biggest danger.”

That warning certainly hasn’t stopped people from diving in, or even paddle boarding across.

One Instagrammer, named Irina, told Mashable that while she has taken several Instagram photos at the site, she would never consider going in the water. “The whole periodic table is in [there],” she said.

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