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The Siberian Maldives – An Alluring But Dangerous Tourist Attraction

Russian Instagram users in search of the perfect selfie have been flocking to a lake near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk that boasts turquoise water and white sandy beaches similar to those in the Maldives. But unlike the popular Indian Ocean archipelago, there is nothing natural about its beauty.

Dubbed the “Siberian Maldives” or “Novosibirsk Maldives”, the gorgeous lake is actually a man-made toxic dump used to dump ash from a nearby coal plant. The water apparently gets its bright turquoise color from its depth and the calcium salts and other metal oxides dissolved in it. Alluring as it may seem at first glance, the Siberian Generating Company (SGC) warns that its ash-dumping pond has a high pH of more than 8 and cause an allergic allergic reaction in contact with human skin. That hasn’t stopped people from posing for photos on the lake’s beaches and even venturing on the water on paddle boards and inflatable unicorns.

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Viral News About Russian Man Who Survived in Bear’s Den for a Month Is Actually Fake

If you’ve visited a news site over the last couple of days, you’ve probably read this incredible story of a Russian “mummified” man who was found more dead than alive after being attacked by a brown bear and somehow survived for a month. Well, it case you haven’t already guessed, it’s fake.

The story of Alexander, a Russian man who had allegedly spent a month in a bear cave somewhere in Russia’s emote Republic of Tuva before being discovered by hunters, went viral yesterday, after major UK publications like Mail Online, Metro and The Sun picked it up and pretty much reported it as fact. In their defense, the news did originally appear on Siberian Times, a Russian news website that covers national events in English. They all claimed that the emaciated man who appeared in a very short clip was the unlikely survivor of a gruesome bear attack that had left him paralyzed. He allegedly told reporters that the beast had then dragged him to its den and kept him around as “tin-can” food to be eaten later. Luckily, he was found by hunters who ventured into the bear’s cave after being alerted by their dogs’ barking. The story ends with Alexander recovering on a hospital bed. Now let’s talk about how the story began.

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Woman Had Surgical Clamp Lodged in Her Abdomen for 23 Years

A 62-year-old Russian woman recently learned that the acute pain she had lived with for over two decades was being caused by a surgical clamp forgotten inside her body after a cesarean.

Ezeta Gobeeva, a pensioner from Russia’s North Ossetia region, had been complaining of an acute abdominal pain ever since she underwent a C-section operation in 1996, but doctors always blamed it on liver problems and did nothing but prescribe painkillers. The woman claims that she was only recently granted an X-Ray, after repeatedly complaining that the medication only helped numb the pain. The investigation revealed that the pain was caused by a surgical clamp lodged in her abdomen, which Gobeeva assumed must have been forgotten in her body by doctors who performed a cesarean operation 23 years ago.

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Russian Village Invaded by Apocalyptic Swarms of Flies

The Russian village of Lazorevy, in Russia’s Urals region, has been invaded by giant swarms of flies after a local farmer allegedly used chicken droppings as natural fertilizer in his fields, which acted as a perfect breeding ground for the insects.

Imagine Albert Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, only on a much larger scale and with flies instead of violent birds. The roads of Lazorevy have become living carpets of flies that rise into horrific swarms every time they are disturbed, locals sweep buckets of dead flies from their homes every day, and some people are even afraid to go outdoors because the tiny insects are virtually everywhere. The recent fly invasion has been described by most as a living nightmare, and despite the best efforts of residents and local authorities to wipe out the unwanted guests, the flies are breeding so fast that humans can’t keep up.

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This Russian Beach Is Covered With Hundreds of Man-Made Stone Towers

Cape Vyatlina, one of the most picturesque places in the Russian Far East, has come to be known as the Russian Stonehenge in recent years, after people started building stone towers on its rocky beach. Today, there are hundreds of them, and new ones are erected almost every day.

The tradition of building towers at Cape Vyatlina by stacking stones of various sizes on top of each other started in 2015, when a group of activists from Vladivostok built 155 such monuments in celebration of the city’s 155th anniversary. Many of these original towers, some up to 3.5-meters-tall, were destroyed by the collapse of a nearby grotto, but other locals and tourists took it upon themselves to restore them and even add to their number. Today, there are several hundreds of these hand-stacked stone towers covering the beach at Cape Vyatlina and building them has become somewhat of a superstition.

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Russian Online Community Explores the Beautiful Side of Mold

‘Beautiful’ is probably not the first word most people would use to describe mold, but to an online community in Russia, the fungi commonly associated with death and decay truly is a thing of beauty, and they have the photos to prove it.

‘Mom, I Have Grown Mold’ is a growing community of mold enthusiasts who love uploading their own photos of mold and commenting on those uploaded by other members. The public group was created back in 2015 on popular Russian social network VKontakte, and has grown to over 50,000 members, many of which constantly post intriguing photos of mold cultured they grow in their own homes. Some of them are actually quite intriguing, if you can get past your disgust and really appreciate the beauty behind it.

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Man Spends 10 Hours a Day for a Whole Week Watching Game of Thrones in a Glass Cube

Russian social media giant VKontakte and online video subscription platform Amediateka recently launched a unique experiment where a person who has never watched Game of Thrones spends a week binge watching the series for 10 hours a day in a transparent glass cube.

The project, called “One More and I Sleep. Seriality”, is designed to promote the 8th season of Game of Thrones, which launches on April 15, in Russia. VK and Amediateka managed to find a young man who had never watched an episode of the popular HBO series and convinced him to binge watch all 7 previous seasons for 10 hours a day locked in a glass cube at the October Cinema Center, in Moscow. The protagonist of this experiment is not able to leave the cube – except the occasional trip to the toilet – until he finishes watching all the episodes of Game of Thrones, which organizers estimate will take about a week.

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Russian City Hosts Painful Face-Slapping Championship

The Russian city of Krasknoyask recently hosted the country’s first ever amateur face-slapping championship, which had participants slap each other across the face until one of them got knocked out.

The controversial event was held during the Siberian Power Show, a popular sports show held in Krasnoyarsk on March 16 and 17. A similar competition took place last year, in Moscow, but it featured only professional athletes competing for the unofficial title of most heavy-handed face slapper. This time, organizers decided to give amateurs the chance to prove themselves, so anyone willing to engage in some manly face slapping was invited to sign up. Most of the participants were just random guys who had come to attend the power show and decided to try something new. It’s fair to say that some of them didn’t know the world of pain they would be experiencing at the hands of a mountain of a man…

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Heavy Pollution Turns Snow Black in Russia

Imagine going to sleep after a day of heavy snowfall and waking up the next morning to find that all that white snow has turned black overnight. That’s exactly what the people of Kiselevsk and Prokopyevsk, two cities in Russia’s Kuzbass region experienced earlier this week.

Photos and videos recently shared on social media by worried citizens of the two Russian cities show the grim reality of living in a coal mining area – snow covered fields and streets blanketed by a thick layer of coal dust and soot that literally turns the snow from white to pitch black.

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Dozens of Polar Bears Invade Remote Russian Town, Entering Homes and Chasing Locals

The small town of Belushya Guba, in northern Russia, is in a state of emergency, with locals afraid to leave their houses because of dozens of polar bears roaming the streets in search of food.

Located on one of the two islands that make up the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, Belushya Guba is home to roughly 3,000 people, many of whom are terrified to leave their homes and send their kids to school, because of the dozens of bears running around in the streets and even entering buildings in search of food. While polar bear sighting aren’t exactly uncommon in the remote town, the scale of this invasion is reportedly unprecedented. Over 52 sightings have been reported in only three days, with up to 10 bears seen in the settlement at any given time.

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Russian Utility Company Installs Wooden Outdoor Toilet Outside Apartment Buildings to Remind People to Pay Their Bills

A public utility company in the Russian city of Irkutsk has come up with an ingenious way of reminding people to pay their bills if they want to continue using their indoor toilets.

In November of last year, the Irkutsk Northern Housing and Utility Systems Directorate installed a wooden cabin toilet outside an apartment building with a sign that read “Toilet for Debtors” on the front door. This was the company’s unique way of reminding residents that it could cut off their utilities if they didn’t settle their debts. The measure was apparently so successful that the company has been moving the outdoor toilet to problem areas of the city for the last couple of months.

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Woman Takes Clothes Off in Front of Bank Manager in Attempt to Secure a Loan

After being refused a loan at a bank in Kazan, Russia, a young woman tried to convince the bank manager to approve the loan by stripping in front of him.

Yulia Kuzmina, who is reportedly in her mid-20s, went to a bank in Kazan, the capital city of The Republic of Tatarstan in western Russia, to secure a loan for a new car. She filled out all the necessary forms, but her application was denied after the bank’s analysis determined that she was an unreliable borrower. After pleading with the loan manager, Kuzmina decided it was time for desperate measures and started taking her clothes off in front of him.

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Runners Compete in World’s Coldest Race at -52 Degrees Celsius

Sixteen brave runners recently gathered in the Russian village of Oymyakon, also known as the world’s pole of cold,  to compete in the coldest official race in history.

Oymyakon is the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth, with temperatures constantly dropping to under -50 degrees Celsius in winter time. This place is so cold that a person’s unprotected face can suffer frostbite in a matter of seconds, and sometimes the mercury in thermometers freezes. Oymyakon can barely be called inhabitable, let alone suitable for a marathon, and yet at the beginning of this year, 16 runners gathered here to take part in a series of extreme races.

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Russian City Declares War on Stationary Speed Cameras

Police in the Russian city of Sevastopol are scrambling to find the vandals responsible for destroying over a dozen speed cameras in the last month.

Reports of damaged stationary speed cameras and the solar panels that power them started coming in at the start of December, and police soon realized that these weren’t just isolated incidents. Someone was targeting them and even getting creative with the means of destruction. First, they started by shooting the cameras with metallic pellets fired from air guns, then they moved to sledgehammers, tearing down the concrete posts the speed cameras were mounted on, and recently they even began setting the expensive cameras on fire. Sevastopol authorities claim that the capture of these vandals is now inevitable, but with 16 destroyed speed cameras reported so far, police has yet to arrest any suspects.

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Russian City Paints Snow White to Hide Pollution

You know you have a serious pollution problem when you have to paint the snow white just to hide the soot and ash covering it. Authorities in Mysky, a town in the Siberian region of Kemerovo, have come under fire after covering a children’s snow slide in white paint to make the coal dust from the nearby quarries less noticeable.

Russian media started reporting about the painted snow situation in Mysky a couple of days ago, after a local resident posted video evidence on YouTube. In the now viral video, Svetlana Zelenina demonstrates how merely touching the snow slide with her hands leaves her fingers covered in a sticky white substance, which she believes to be water-based paint. She adds that parents whose children had used the slide reported that it left them looking like “Indians wearing war paint”.

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