Warning: Stay away from the Monte Neme "lake" in Galicia, Spain
To be an Instagram influencer, you have to do anything to get the shot — but maybe check to make sure you’re not diving into a toxic waste dump first, huh? That’s a lesson a few unfortunate users in Galicia, Spain learned the hard way.
The photo-hungry folks posted for pictures after swimming at the famous Monte Neme “lake,” a body of turquoise-hued water in northwestern coastal region of Carballo.
It looks like the perfect, tranquil backdrop for yoga poses or those jealousy-inducing vacation photos. But according to The Telegraph, the water is actually filled with hazardous chemical waste that poured out from a closed World War II-era tungsten mine. The mine was once used to produce an iron manganese tungstate mineral for craft light bulb filament.
One Instagram influencer who took a dip told Spanish news outlet Publico that she came down with a rash for two weeks, and suffered from bouts of vomiting. More than one influencer had to be hospitalized “for damage to the skin and digestive system,” the publication reported.
According to Manuel Ferreiro, a doctor at the University hospital in nearby A Coruña who spoke with European news site The Local, even brief exposure to the water would likely cause eye and skin irritation. Stomach problems like vomiting and diarrhea could be due to more prolonged exposure and even ingestion of the toxins, he said.
Local activists have urged government officials to intervene and post warning signs, Fox News reported.
Sadly, none of that might defer some risk takers. Even after suffering the side effects of Monte Neme, one Instagramer named Uxía told Publico that her rash was “a little bad, yes, but the picture was worth it.”
This isn’t the first time social media users have been fooled into thinking a toxic waste dump is actually a beautiful body of water.
Earlier this month, government officials in Russia warned tourists away from traveling to the Novosibirsk Maldives, a lake of bright blue water that looks natural and beautiful but is actually man-made due to the result of a massive ash dump from a nearby coal plant.
While the pond is “not technically poisonous” — according to the power plant in question, the Siberian Generating Company — visitors should not go swimming in the body of water, they said.