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Novosibirsk: Russian Instagrammers' paradise is actually a toxic lake

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  • Novosibirsk: Russian Instagrammers' paradise is actually toxic lake
    Images from the @maldives_nsk account.
  • Novosibirsk: Russian Instagrammers' paradise is actually toxic lake
    Images from the @maldives_nsk account.
Schneider Electric
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Novosibirsk is the third largest city in Russia. Located in Siberia, it is home to a beautiful turquoise-coloured lake reminiscent of the idyllic images promised by the Maldives. In Instagram, the lake has become the sensation for Instagrammers, and the charms of this lagoon are the setting for photos with bikinis, unicorn floats and paddle surfboards.


Images from the @maldives_nsk account.

However, the paradise-like waters of this pool host more than an incomparable setting for endless photo shoots of couples in bridal gowns or yogis in impossible postures: it is the final destination for toxic discharges from a nearby thermal power plant that provides electricity to the city (1.6 million inhabitants).

In fact, the bright colour of the lake is due to calcium oxides -substances found in quicklime and harmful to humans – diluted in shallow waters, says the Siberian Generating Company. Contact with the toxic water is harmful and can cause skin irritation.

It is the final destination for toxic discharges from a nearby thermal power plant ​

“The water is not poisonous, and the level of radiation is normal,” a spokesperson told AFP, “but you can’t swim in the dump. The water has a very high acidity. This is due to the fact that calcium salts and other metal oxides dissolve in it. Skin contact with such water can cause an allergic reaction!”


Images from the @maldives_nsk account.

"The bottom of the ash disposal site is claylike, so if you fall there, it's hard to get out," she said.

Despite the ‘Danger Zone’ signs, the ‘Siberian Maldives’, a nickname for this artificial hydraulic structure, remains a point of attraction for Novosibirsk citizens and tourists who want to win the ‘Like’ race, even if it means putting their health at risk.

The reality (@maldives_nsk).