The Instagram photos are beautiful. But it’s a chemical dump site in Russia.

National News

(CBS News) — Search the “ТЭЦ-5” location tag on Instagram, and you’ll be flooded with picturesque shots of bright blue water, couples taking their wedding photos, yoga poses and even a few people on paddleboards. But the “Maldives of Novosibirsk” isn’t a luxurious oasis — it’s actually a chemical waste dump in Russia.

As the New York Times reported, so many people have flocked to the man-made toxic waste site that the nearby power plant issued a warning to stay away. The Siberian Generating Company, which operates the Heating and Electrical Station Number 5 plant, released a statement cautioning people to avoid the social media “star.”

The “lake” is located near Novosibirsk, Siberia’s largest city with a population of around 1.6 million people. It’s become so popular that it has its own dedicated Instagram account to highlight its beauty. 

While the plant’s operator said the water was “not poisonous” and has “normal” levels of radiation, the company emphasized that the water was not safe for swimming and said that getting out of the reservoir was “almost impossible” because it is so muddy.

According to the plant, the turquoise hue of the water isn’t a natural wonder — it’s the result of a high pH level, calcium salts and other metal oxides. Because of this, contact with the skin can cause an allergic reaction.

According to the company, falling into the “ash dump” is the biggest risk in trying to get the perfect selfie. But several users can be seen swimming on floats and paddleboards at the site.

One of the more daring Instagram users posted a picture in the lake on a unicorn pool float. He said the next day his legs “turned slightly red and itched for about two days.” 

Heating and Electrical Station Number 5 is not the only power plant to make headlines this week.

Ukraine is now hoping to further exploit the nuclear disaster site at Chernobyl as a tourist attraction. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a decree on Wednesday, more than 30 years after the reactor exploded there, announcing plans to make the site and surrounding areas more tourist-friendly.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Oil Production

Thumbnail for the video titled "Oil Production"

High School Hockey

Thumbnail for the video titled "High School Hockey"

HP Accident

Thumbnail for the video titled "HP Accident"

College Basketball

Thumbnail for the video titled "College Basketball"

Perinatal Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Perinatal Day"

High School Basketball

Thumbnail for the video titled "High School Basketball"

X-Mas Tree

Thumbnail for the video titled "X-Mas Tree"

Wreaths in Bismarck

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wreaths in Bismarck"

Harvest Conversations

Thumbnail for the video titled "Harvest Conversations"

River Levels

Thumbnail for the video titled "River Levels"

Walmart Update

Thumbnail for the video titled "Walmart Update"

Robert Suhr KX News At 6pm Forecast 12-14-19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert Suhr KX News At 6pm Forecast 12-14-19"

Robert's one Minute Forecast 12-14-19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert's one Minute Forecast 12-14-19"

Wreaths Across America Minot

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wreaths Across America Minot"

Girls HS Basketball

Thumbnail for the video titled "Girls HS Basketball"

Billy Mills

Thumbnail for the video titled "Billy Mills"

High School Hockey

Thumbnail for the video titled "High School Hockey"

High School Basketball

Thumbnail for the video titled "High School Basketball"

College Basketball

Thumbnail for the video titled "College Basketball"

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader"
More Video

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge