Please think twice before Instagramming from this stunning Siberian ash pond

The Latest Instagram Hotspot Is Actually A Dump For Chemical Waste

For a number of Instagrammers, it seems the answer is: I would paddle out onto a lovely Siberian lake that's actually a chemical waste dump for the nearby power plant.

According to the company, falling into the "ash dump" is the biggest risk in trying to get the flawless selfie.

The statement, which noted that the artificial lake had become a "star of social media", cautioned people against touching the water and stressed that swimming is prohibited.

Search the "ТЭЦ-5" location tag on Instagram, and you'll be flooded with picturesque shots of bright blue water, couples taking their wedding photos, yoga poses and even a few people on paddle boards. The company said, "This is because calcium salts and other metal oxides are dissolved in it. Skin contact with such water may cause an allergic reaction!" There's just one small problem: It's not a pristine wilderness, but a man-made toxic waste dump.

The liquid "has a high alkaline environment" with an elevated pH level, the company said, adding that the bottom of the lake is also "slimy", making it "probably impossible to get out of the reservoir on one's own". "We live nearby so it was not hard to get there and make attractive and unusual photos".


Siberia's "Maldives" has caught the attention of influencers on social media platforms like Instagram. As of early Thursday, the account featured about 200 posts and had more than 3,400 followers.

Like Zheleznova, most people respected the warnings, choosing to take their pictures on shore. He said the next day his legs "turned slightly red and itched for about two days".

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

But even such a strongly worded warning doesn't seem to be deterring those seeking a great photo op. "The water tastes a bit sour, looks like chalk".

The rash of Instagrammers flocking to the lake has promoted the Siberian Generating Company to warn that the chemicals inside the lake may cause allergic skin reactions and to avoid swimming at all costs. "This didn't stop some Russians to organize whole picnics by the lake".

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