Darwin Awards time is here!
We bring you to Galicia, northwest of Spain. A place that is attracting Instagrammers in waves, all due to an absolutely beautiful azure lake.
There is a catch, there always is…
Actually being a disguised tungsten mine, the beautiful colors are actually caused by a severely high composite of chemicals.
Of course, in real Instagram style, for that ‘perfect’ shot, many have been hospitalized for entering the waters, displaying skin rashes and stomach ailments on admission.
This doesn’t end there – one Instagram sensation mentioned how it was “a little bad, yes, but the photo was worth it,” after suffering for two weeks with a rash.
Originally mined during WW2, Monte Neme has been left abandoned for decades, but with renewed interest has come a flock of influencers who are being encouraged by local tourism.
“This is a mining landscape, which is devastated and unrestored but Galicia used it to promote tourism in the region as if it were an idyllic landscape,” Ramón Varela, environmental journalist and spokesperson for Salvemos Cabana, an association for the protection of natural and cultural heritage in the area, told Euronews.
“At the weekend, it’s a kind of pilgrimage and it’s a dangerous place because it’s a landscape caused by industrial liquids,” says Varela. “On the one hand, it is an area that’s easy to access and, on the other, the slopes are risky, reaching heights up to 30 meters.”
Salvemos Cabana is actively lobbying to encourage the lcoal government to limit access to the toxic lake. They need to put up warning signs as people clearly are unaware of the real dangers of the area.
Dr. Manuel Ferreiro, from the emergency department of the University Hospital of Coruña, has further explained how a short dip could leave bathers suffering with skin irritations, where longer exposure could cause more serious problems.
“If they take a bath in a timely manner, the most likely consequences are ocular and irritative problems, irritation of the ocular mucous membranes and skin irritations,” he said.
“If it is a prolonged bathing session and they accidentally drink some water, people can experience digestive disorders, vomiting and later diarrhea.”
Still keen for a dip?
This situation is by no way limited or contained as many events throughout history have proven the ignorance of people. The Siberian city of Novosibirsk is a great example – people fell ill after swimming in a glowing blue lake, which turned out to be the dumping ground for a close by power plant.
On a serious note though. I think they need more warning signs?!
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