We all know that Instagram influencers go to great lengths to get that perfect photo. Some hopeful influencers have even lost their lives trying to get a selfie for the ‘gram. But these unfortunate incidents have not stopped Instagram models and brand ambassadors from doing whatever it takes to get a shot that will garner thousands of likes and offers of #SponCon.
Case in point? Mount Neme in Galicia, Spain. The turquoise “lake” makes the perfect backdrop for an inspiring yoga pose or a half-emerged bikini pic. As some Instagrammers learned, however, just because something looks beautiful doesn’t mean it is worth it. Mount Neme is actually a toxic dump from World War II — yeah. According to The Telegraph, the small body of water is the remnants of a tungsten mine.
What’s tungsten, you ask? It’s what gives the water that the beautiful turquoise hue, and with prolonged exposure, it can be carcinogenic. So, to summarize, people are going into a pool of 70-plus-year-old contaminants that could be cancerous for the sake of a photograph.
Seriously — a few folks vying for a Instagram-worthy pic decided any risks of diving into the toxic waste of Mount Neme were worth the reward.
And it doesn’t seem like it was.
Once woman who took at photo at Mount Neme told Publico that she had sores and rashes on her skin after going into the scenic sludge. She also reported vomiting for two weeks.
Um… no thanks.
Even though some have reported illnesses after going in, people are emerging themselves in the chemical-laden pool.
One person, who suffered from rashes after grabbing her picture, told Publico that her rash “a little bad, yes, but the picture was worth it.” Was it, though?
Locals are asking for the government to put up signs, but it isn’t clear if it would even help.
It has even been called the “Galicia Chernobyl” — um, why would you go in that?
Even going in for a short time can hurt you.
According to Manuel Ferreiro, a doctor at a hospital in a town near Mount Neme, even just a small amount of exposure is enough to cause skin and eye irritation.
This isn’t the first time Instagram enthusiasts have put themselves at risk for a pretty picture.
Earlier in July, BuzzFeedNews reported that folks were swimming in a literal ash dump in Siberia, Russia. The beautiful location blew up in popularity after bot accounts started reposting all photos from the waste site.
The Siberian Generating Company even said that “you can not swim in the ash dump.” But people still did.
While this Siberian lake — called the “Novosibirsk Maldives” for its appearance — is not technically toxic, it has still had some adverse effects on swimmers. One person told BuzzFeedNews that after taking the picture, “the next morning my feet are slightly turned red and itched for two days.” Officials also warned that the ash from the waste site could also caused allergic reactions in more sensitive folks.
We get it — the pressure to be fabulous on social media is real.
But so are the consequences of swimming in toxic water. It’s important to remember that social media serves as a highlight reel, not reality. We aren’t seeing all the photos of these Instagrammers vomiting or scratching at itchy rashes post-Mount Neme. If you are looking to get a picturesque ‘gram, why not try out some interesting selfie techniques that can be done from the safety of your living room or front yard?
Maybe the whole ‘like ban‘ is actually a good idea.
If folks weren’t vying for external validation online in the form of double-tapped hearts, maybe people would be less inclined to put themselves at risk for a photograph.