It’s the stunning lake shot that doesn’t even need a filter.
The turquoise waters surrounded by lush green trees have become a bit of a social magnet for Instagrammers heading to Siberia.
From women posing in bikinis to newlyweds dancing on the lake’s dirt banks and even visitors riding inflatable unicorns, the site has gone viral on social networks
But this calm body of water, dubbed the “Novosibirsk Maldives”, isn’t as perfect as it seems — with the water hiding a “toxic” chemical that could be harmful to humans.
The lake is, in fact, artificial and is filled with chemicals from a nearby coal plant as a dumping zone for ash and other waste matter.
The not-so-natural body of water has become a popular spot for Instagrammers hoping to get the perfect selfie.
In a statement released by the Siberian Generating Company, a spokesperson has warned the chemicals inside the lake may cause allergic skin reactions and to avoid swimming at all costs.
“In the last week, our ash dump of the Novosibirsk TEZ-5 has become the star of social networks,” it said.
“But you CANNOT swim in the ash dump. Its water has high alkaline environment. This is due to the fact that calcium salts and other metal oxides are dissolved in it. Skin contact with such water may cause an allergic reaction!”
According to CNN, the stunning blue tinge in the water is from its depth and the various metal oxides dissolved in it. The high alkaline levels, with a pH of more than 8, also contribute to the blue hue. The lake was built in the 1970s and is the largest of its kind in Siberia.
The statement also advised visitors the bottom of the lake held the most danger, with the mud so thick it may trap swimmers from being able to get to shore.
“THEREFORE, WE ASK YOU VERY MUCH THAT IN YOUR QUEST FOR A SELFIE YOU DON’T FALL DOWN INTO THE ASH DUMP,” it said in capital letters.
In an interview with CNN, one visitor to the lake said while it is fine to visit, they would never take a dip in the water.
“We know that the lake is toxic and didn’t enter the water,” said Marina Zheleznova, who went to the dumping ground to do a photoshoot with her partner.
“This didn’t stop some Russians to organise whole picnics by the lake. One man even bathed there, which is strictly forbidden.”