'Siberian Maldives' is actually a toxic dump, Instagrammers warned

A woman poses in front of an artificial pond outside Novosibirsk Russia in this image posted to Instagram in June

After an explosion of interest on social media, the company said it had been forced to warn potential visitors that "walking along the ash dump is like walking on a military firing range: unsafe and undesirable". But it's "highly alkaline", which can cause problems for people who come into contact with it. Contact with the water could cause an allergic reaction, and the muddy bottom of the lake could make it hard to get out.

Some photo-happy visitors say they have no hesitations about returning to the artificial attraction - but plan to stay at the shore.

Despite looking like paradise at first glance, the lake in Novosibirsk - nicknamed the Siberian Maldives - is actually an industrial dump.

After realising their ash dump had become the "star of social networks", they chose to answer some of the commonly asked questions.

The rash of Instagrammers flocking to the lake has promoted the Siberian Generating Company to warn that the chemicals inside the lake may cause allergic skin reactions and to avoid swimming at all costs.

One photographer said the water smelled of "laundry detergent".

She said they researched the dangers carefully before making the journey and made sure to follow the recommendations.

Local mother Lilita Galieva jokingly compared their visit to TEZ-5 to a family vacation to the Maldives.

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Still, people are flocking to the site to get that ideal IG photo.

"Especially struck by the color of the water, I wanted to see it live", she told InsideEdition.com.

Even though Galieva mimicked being on an exotic vacation by posing in her bikini, she insisted she and her family kept their distance.

Unfortunately, the warnings don't seem to have put off tourists.

Alexei Cherenkov scored almost 400 likes for a picture of himself on a unicorn float. Here's one guy's report, courtesy of an Instagram caption: "The next morning, my legs were slightly red and itchy day two, then it went [away]".

He now jokes he is a survivor of the Nobrisk Maldives in his Instagram bio.

It is, in fact, an ash dump belonging to a nearby power plant, and its waters are potentially deadly to humans.

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