Crystal-clear turquoise waters, kilometres of untouched greenery and tranquility in abundance.
Thousands of snap-happy tourists have been sharing photos with these holiday must-haves at a picturesque lake which has quickly become a social media hotspot.
But while most having a quick glance at Instagram snaps of the idyllic location would assume they were shot in the Bahamas or the Maldives, the lake in question sits just outside Russia’s third most populous city, Novosibirsk.
Dubbed the ‘Siberian Seychelles’, many photos on the photo sharing app show scantily clad models striking a pose near the water’s edge.
In an area that barely reaches 20C in summer, the photos appear almost too good to be true – and they are.
Authorities are warning visitors to stay clear of the water due to its high content of waste from a nearby power plant, The Siberian Times reported.
Its name directly translates as Lake Ash Dump, with the electric blue waters a product of a chemical reaction as ash is pumped into the lake by the plant under the ownership of the Siberian Generating Company.
Power plant’s warning
“We beg you not to fall into the ash dump in the pursuit of selfies,” the company warned, according to the publication.
“That is the biggest danger.”
While the water isn’t poisonous, several visitors have reported rashes to their skin from contact with the water and in some cases even the air.
Photographer Mikhail Reshetnikov said the lake felt like it was “not a safe place”.
Visitors have said the location smells of washing detergent and the plant has urged visitors to never drink the water which has an extremely high pH level.
Swimming is also prohibited at the site.
‘This water is used only to transport ash,” the plant reiterated.
Tourists at a beach in Thailand were warned this year they could face the death penalty if they didn’t stay clear of the popular spot near a busy airport.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.