Biblical plague? Blood red river alarms Russian villagers
Nature is the source of a never-ending stream of mysteries for us to solve. But what happened to this stream, the Daldykan River near the Russian town of Norilsk, had some residents looking for answers not in nature, rather from the supernatural. Although as it turned out, when the water in the river inexplicably turned blood red, it wasn't a biblical plague, but something else quite sinister.
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It's not without reason that Norilsk is one of the most polluted cities in the world; the area surrounding it is firmly in the grip of the metal industry. Inhabitants suspected that a melting factory upriver might be responsible for the gruesome discoloration of the water.
Pictures of the scarlet red Daldykan resulted in a public outcry, which forced the Russian authorities to undertake an inquiry into the case. Initial studies suggested that the source could be a leak in a drainage pipe belonging to the company Norilsk Nickel.
A former worker of the metal foundry Hope near Norilsk reported on Facebook about a wastewater tank known internally as "The Red Sea" whose contents had a similarly unhealthy color. "In winter, even the snow is red," he wrote. "It actually looks quite beautiful, but it's chemical."
The people of Norilsk fear for their health so long as the situation hasn't been clarified. This isn't the first time that the river has been contaminated by industrial waste. Residents can only react with bitter laughter to the claim of plant operators that the wastewater is non-toxic.
Gregory Dukarev, a community representative from the area, made a clever proposal the company, "I would like to ask a representative of the company to drink this water." This much is certain: as much as the townsfolk of Norilsk would love to see such a tasting take place, we don't expect the company executives will be taking them up on their offer any time soon.