Instagram influencers have flocked to a serene “lake” for the perfect photo unaware of the toxicity in the water.
Recently, Monte Neme has become a popular selfie spot among Instagrammers and influencers, but it’s also literally a toxic dump.
While the turquoise waters appear calm, the striking colour of the water is due to chemical contamination, earning the name “Galician Chernobyl”.
Located in the north-west Spanish region of Carballo, in the area known as Galicia, the water in the abandoned quarry has caused Instagrammers to fall violently ill.
According to Publico, “more than one” person has been hospitalised for skin and digestive system damage.
One influencer reported “did not see the sign” and they were vomiting and had bumps all over their skin two weeks after going for a dip.
The influencer reportedly said the health side effects of their visit to the site were “bad”, but the “picture was worth it”.
"Congratulations for bathing in a raft of highly toxic waste in a wolfram mine,” one follower said on the Instagrammer’s photo.
“Darwin would be proud of you."
One doctor has spoken out about the swimming in Monte Neme.
Dr Manuel Ferreiro said bathing in the water is most likely to cause eye and skin irritation.
Galicians of late capitalism bañándose nunha antigua mina de wolframio pic.twitter.com/NnSJAADDtP— Uxía (@uxiaabc) June 5, 2019
A short dip may mean the effects are less serious, however a prolonged swim could lead to “digestive disorders, vomiting and later diarrhoea”.
Wolfram, also known as tungsten, was first discovered in the area during World War 1 and Hitler asked Spanish dictator Francisco Franco if the Nazis could mine Wolfram in the Galicia area during the second world war.
Back in 2017, a controversial advertising campaign promoted Monte Neme in all its toxic glory.
The “Give me Galicia” campaign had to be pulled and the tourism agency had to apologise saying “the filters did not work properly” after the old mining site was featured.
Monte Neme isn’t the only Instagramable hotspot that could cause adverse side effects.
The "Siberian Maldives", or another toxic lake found in Novosibirsk, Russia, lures in selfie-lovers because of the bright blue waters.
The colouring is due to a chemical reaction between toxic waste elements from a local power station.
“We can compare it only with photos of the Maldives,” Sergey Griva, a local who visited the lake told AP, adding he’s never been to the Maldives and couldn’t find it on a map.
A Russian environmentalist has warned against swimming in the waters, as it can cause allergic reactions or even chemical burns if ingested or touched.
Guards have since been deployed in the area to keep trespassers at bay.
– with AP
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