Russian River Turns Blood Red (Photos)

| by Sheena Vasani
Red riverRed river

Could the end of the world be near?

After a river in Russia reportedly turned into an eerie shade of blood red, some on social media wonder if the biblical end times prophecy is coming true.

"Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they turned to blood," reads Revelations 16:4, as one worried user quoted on ABC News' Facebook page.

Yet perhaps it's man-made pollution rather than an apocalypse some should be more concerned about. 

Many Norilsk locals are linking the river Daldykan's redness to a nearby giant metals factory.

Some believe the factory may have leaked mineral ore that mixed with wastewater, combining to produce the ominous color.

Russia’s natural resources and environment ministry said they are investigating further, adding it is possible there was a “break in a Norilsk Nickel slurry pipe," The Guardian reports.

It's no surprise to some. Norilsk is built around factories owned by the metal company Norilsk Nikels, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium.

Consequently, some say that is why Norilsk is one of the most polluted cities on earth.

Former factory employee Evgeny Belikov recalls how colleagues would call the nearby river the "red sea" after seeing the effects of the mineral ore.

"In winter, the snow's also red," Belikov said. "On the one hand, it's beautiful, but on the other it's chemical."

Experts agree pollution may have caused the river to turn red.

“Periodically there are accidents when these pipes break and the solutions spill and get into the Daldykan -- that’s why it changes color,” said Denis Koshevoi, a PhD candidate at the Vernadsky Institute for Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry researching local pollution.

However, Norilsk Nikels officials denied on Sept. 7 an industrial spill caused by their company is responsible for this specific incident.

“[The] color of the river today doesn’t differ from its usual condition,” they said.

Still, they say, they are conducting an investigation and have temporary reduced manufacturing work.

Sources: ABC News/FacebookABC NewsThe Guardian / Photo credit: Facebook via The Guardian

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