Instagrammers Love The ‘Siberian Maldives’ – But Don’t Go In The Water!

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Residents of a city in Siberia don’t need to fly off to tropical locales for picturesque selfies taken by pristine turquoise waters. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents — ranging from scantily clad women to newlyweds — have been busy Instagramming near a bright blue lake nicknamed the “Siberian Maldives.”

But, as Open Jaw reported last week, not all that glitters is gold in the Instagram world. 

The Siberian lake is electric blue due to a chemical reaction between toxic waste elements from a local power station. Environmentalists say people should avoid coming into contact with the water.

Dmitry Shakhov, a Russian environmentalist, warned that the water in the lake can cause allergic reactions or even chemical burns if ingested or touched.

“This water is saturated with heavy metals (and) harmful substances,” he said.

But local visitors say the beauty of the water’s colour still makes it special. “We can compare it only with photos of the Maldives,” said Sergey Griva, adding that he’s never been to the Maldives and couldn’t find it on a map.

The Siberian Generating Company said Friday it has deployed guards to keep trespassers at bay, but insists the lake presents no environmental danger. We’ll probably stick to Lake Louise, in the ‘Canadian Maldives.’
Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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