Instagram users urged to stop taking selfies in toxic Russian pond

Millennials in Russia are flocking to the so-called “Siberian Maldives” to strip down and snap gorgeous Instagram photos in front of the stunning turquoise waters of a woodland pond.

But there’s a reason the water looks so otherworldly, and it’s not good.

The pond is a dumping site for coal ash mixed with water, according to the Siberian Generating Company (SGK).

The power company is urging millennials to stop frolicking in the toxic waters of the pond, which contains all kinds of oxidized metals, calcium salts and harmful chemicals.

“Our ash dump has become a celebrity on social networks,” SKG said in a statement last month.

The company says the water is highly acidic and can cause an allergic reaction if it comes in contact with human skin. SGK also raised concern that selfie-seekers might get their feet stuck in the ashy sludge at the bottom of the pond.


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“Getting out of the reservoir alone is almost impossible,” the company wrote on VKontakte, a Russian social media network.

“Therefore we are asking — don’t get into the ash dump in the pursuit of a selfie!”

The artificial pond is connected to a coal plant that powers Novosibirsk, a city of 1.5 million people in the Russian province of Siberia.


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The site has continued to draw Instagrammers despite the warning. Several people have snapped photos of themselves goofing around on the water in inflatable toys or paddle boards. Others have continued to pose on the shoreline with the pond in the background.

SGK says the dump is not radioactive or poisonous to wildlife.

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