Damaging your health for that perfect photo

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Most people are aware of the almost uncontrollable trend for taking selfies. Whether this is a picture in your favourite outfit, enjoying a meal or perhaps visiting a spectacular site, it seems that people all over the world are jumping on the selfie trend. But just how far would you go to get the perfect, shareable photo that might get you a few hundred likes?

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Well this year hundreds of people are visiting a particular location in Siberia, in search of the best Instagrammable photo. They are even risking their health for this.

The turquoise lake, in Siberia, locally nicknamed the “Novosibirsk Maldives” is crystal blue and is surrounded by incredible landscapes. It is fast becoming one of the places people want to visit to take a picture. Now some tourists adhere to the strict signs that state no-one is to enter the water. However, others are taking their panel boards and venturing out onto the lake and others even swimming in the clear blue waters. Now in most cases you would expect people to want to enjoy cool blue waters, but not in this case.

The lake is in fact man made and is the ash dump of a local power plant. This means that the water is so coloured not because it is a tropical paradise but because it contains high levels of calcium salts and metal oxides from the power plant. Local authorities have expressly informed people that whilst the waters are not poisonous or highly radioactive the calcium salts and metal oxides can cause skin and allergic reactions and the bottom of the lake is not secure and people could find themselves trapped in the ash layers.

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When power plants and other areas are decommissioned the area will go through Land Remediation Services such as those that are offered by ash remediation to remove ant dangerous chemicals and other items and return the area back to wildlife in many cases. For some areas that have been subjected to high levels of toxic activity this is managed by burying the area underneath land or water that contains the toxic elements below it.

There are many areas across the world that have been through this process and can include disused mines, quarries and power plant sites. So next time you decide to take the perfect selfie, check first that you are not putting yourself or your health at risk.




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