A River In Arctic Russia Has Turned Blood Red - Atlas Obscura
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A River In Arctic Russia Has Turned Blood Red

The local nickel factory denies any involvement.

A color-altered photo of the area around the Daldykan River. (Photo: NASA/Public Domain)

Either the End Times are here, or there has been a chemical leak, but, whatever the case, Russia’s Daldykan River, surrounded by delicate tundra, has turned blood red. And now, according to ABC News, pictures of the bright red waters are being shared all over Russian social media.

The river is located in Norilsk, a heavily polluted industrial city that sits above the Arctic Circle. Built around a number of factories, mostly owned and operated by Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel, it is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over 100,000, and it seems as though all that industry might have finally seeped out into the surrounding wilderness. Or at least this is one of the first times it has garnered widespread attention.

A report in the Siberian Times links the river’s sudden coloration to the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant, which processes nickel concentrate, and is said to leak waste and pollutants into the river. The locals also don’t seem too surprised by the river’s terrifying coloration, reporting that it is not the first time the river has turned red. In fact, there is supposedly a factory reservoir that is so polluted it is known as the “Red Sea.” They also say that in the winter, even the snow turns red.

For the time being, Norilsk Nickel is denying that any leakage is taking place, but they say they are doing environmental checks, just to be sure. They even provided a local news agency with a picture of the river, taken from a helicopter, that shows it healthy and blue (well, blue-green). They say they will also reduce production at the plant.

The apocalypse, in other words, might not be here quite just yet.