Please Stop Taking Selfies At This Toxic Ash Dump!

Tell me: Would you dunk your head in a toilet bowl just because the water is blue from one of those colored cleansing tablets? Probably...not...right? Then I can’t explain why residents from the Russian city of Novosibirsk are turning up in droves to take selfies next to a very blue, rather toxic artificial lake used as a dumping ground by a power company.

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According to Bloomberg, people caught onto the “Siberian Maldives” after a local photographer posted a picture of a woman posing next to it. After that, so many people showed up that the Siberian Generating Company deployed guards on Friday to keep influencers away from its hazardous shores.

But that doesn’t mean plenty of people haven’t already waded in for the sake of social media. On Wednesday, the company posted a statement cautioning that the water has a “high alkaline environment,” adding “THEREFORE, WE ARE REQUESTING, DON’T GET INTO THE ASH DUMP TO TAKE A SELFIE!”

Too late! Look at this:

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The statement from the company was in response to a recent uptick of visitors to the site, which, while very vibrant, is used as a store for ash from coal burned at the plant. While the lake is apparently not poisonous, contact with skin can cause an allergic reaction and burns.

One Novosibirsk resident, who saw around 80 people posing around the water during a recent visit, put it: “Doesn’t seem like a good idea to swim there. I still need my skin.”

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