“You CANNOT swim in the ash dump," officials warned before one influencer took the plunge anyway with his unicorn floatie.
Too bad this Instagram-worthy lake is actually a toxic dump.
A turquoise-colored manmade lake dubbed “Novosibirsk Maldives” has been a hit destination for Russian influencers and tourists alike, but officials are warning the public to stay away from the “ash dump.”
“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,” the Siberian Generating Company said on social media page VKonatakte. “Skin contact with such water may cause an allergic reaction!
“THEREFORE, WE ASK YOU VERY MUCH THAT IN YOUR QUEST FOR A SELFIE YOU DON’T FALL DOWN INTO THE ASH DUMP! THIS IS THE BIGGEST RISK,” the statement said of the lake officially known as Novosibirsk TEZ-5.
But even such a strongly worded warning doesn’t seem to be deterring those seeking a great photo op.
Photographer Ekaterina Aksyutina shot a client’s wedding portraits by the lake.
“I took pictures there because it is very beautiful and there are not lots of places nearby,” Aksyutina told InsideEdition.com.
She said they researched the dangers carefully before making the journey and made sure to follow the recommendations.
“Employees of TEC-5 claim that water is hazardous to health [but] it is impossible to touch,” she said. “We kept the rules, did not climb into the water.”
Local mother Lilita Galieva jokingly compared their visit to TEZ-5 to a family vacation to the Maldives.
“Especially struck by the color of the water, I wanted to see it live,” she told InsideEdition.com. “We live nearby so it was not difficult to get there and make beautiful and unusual photos.”
Even though Galieva mimicked being on an exotic vacation by posing in her bikini, she insisted she and her family kept their distance.
“Yes, the water itself is toxic but we did not swim in it and did not touch it,” she said.
Not everyone seemed to be so fazed by warnings, however.
A Siberian local named Alex Cherenkov took a dip into the picturesque dump on a unicorn floatie. He insisted the water isn’t dangerous, but “the next morning, my legs were slightly red and itchy,” Cherenkov said according to a translation.
He now jokes he is a survivor of the Nobrisk Maldives in his Instagram bio.
Travel vlogger Antosha Provocateur even spent extended time with his crew there, filming every twist and turn of the turquoise dump by drone.
Even though his video on YouTube showcased the beauty of the lake, he firmly warned his viewers, “the lake is not a natural miracle at all, but an ash dump.”