In this undated handout photo taken by mrwed54, a woman poses for a photo by a lake in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs.  (mrwed54 via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Residents of a city in Siberia don't need to fly off to tropical locales for picturesque selfies taken by pristine turquoise waters. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents — ranging from scantily clad women to newlyweds — have been busy instagramming near a bright blue lake nicknamed the "Siberian Maldives."

The lake is blue, however, due to a chemical reaction between toxic waste elements from a local power station. Environmentalists are warning people against coming into contact with the water.

"We can compare it only with photos of the Maldives," said Sergey Griva, a local who visited the lake, adding he's never been to the Maldives and couldn't find it on a map.

Dmitry Shakhov, a Russian environmentalist, warned that the water in the lake can cause allergic reactions or even chemical burns if ingested or touched.

"This water is saturated with heavy metals (and) harmful substances," he said.

The Siberian Generating Company said Friday it has deployed guards to keep trespassers at bay, but insists the lake presents no environmental danger.

In this Friday, July 12, 2019 photo, a couple take a selfie by a lake in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia.  Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (AP Photo/Ilnar Salakhiev)
In this handout photo taken by ekaterinaaaaks on Sunday, June 23, 2019, a newlywed couple pose for a photo by a lake and a power station in the background are seen in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (ekaterinaaaaks via AP)
In this photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2019, a view of a lake in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia.  Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (AP Photo/Ilnar Salakhiev)
In this photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2019, a view of a lake and a power station in the background are seen in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (AP Photo/Ilnar Salakhiev)
In this Friday, July 12, 2019 photo, a couple walk by a lake in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia.  Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (AP Photo/Ilnar Salakhiev)
In this Friday, July 12, 2019 photo, a sign board reading
In this photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2019, aview of a lake in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia.  Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (AP Photo/Ilnar Salakhiev)
In this handout photo taken by ekaterinaaaaks on Sunday, June 23, 2019, a newlywed couple pose for a photo by a lake and a power station in the background are seen in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (ekaterinaaaaks via AP)
In this Friday, July 12, 2019 photo, a couple sit by a lake in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia.  Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (AP Photo/Ilnar Salakhiev)
In this photo taken on Friday, July, 12, 2019, a view of the sun setting by a lake in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents, from scantily clad women to newlyweds have been instagramming selfies near the lake nicknamed the “Siberian Malvides” after the far-flung tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. This is in fact is a man-made dumb of coal from a nearby power station that provides for most of Novosibirsk’s energy needs. (AP Photo/Ilnar Salakhiev)