In the stunning region of Galicia in the northwest of Spain lays a stunning lake where influencers flock for photos.
And while the view is breath taking, there is a bit of an issue…
The “lake” is actually a disused tungesten mine and the gorgeous colors are a sign of chemical contamination.
But surprisingly, this has not stopped some people from entering the water — leading to hospitalizations for skin rashes and stomach problems.
One influencer who did enter the toxic water suffered an allergic reatcion for two weeks, telling a local newspaper how things were “a little bad, yes, but the photo was worth it.”
The site is known as Monte Neme and was originally mined during World War 2 and left abandoned for decades.
People’s renewed interest was due to some poor promotion by the region’s tourism board.
“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,” environmental journalist and spokesperson for Salvemos Cabana, Ramón Varela, an association for the protection of natural and cultural heritage in the area, shared with 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.”
30 meters equates to less than 100 feet.
Now, Salvemos Cabana is lobbying the regional government to limit access to the lake as well as provide clearer warnings of the dangers of the area.
While Dr. Manuel Ferreiro, from the emergency department of the University Hospital of Coruña, shared in an interview with Cadena Cope that while a short dip will leave bathers with minor skin irritations, longer exposure can lead to 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.”
The take away? Maybe don’t jump in a vat of pretty colored water for the ‘gram…