Red Russian River Mystery at First

Located just inside the Arctic Circle, Russia’s Daldykan river has turned a crimson red.

Residents were startled to find their once blue river had become such a strange and foreboding color.

The Russian river’s relatively quick shift in color mystified residents at first.

One resident, Yuri Merezhko, remarks that the river’s color reminded him of a biblical plague.

An Explanation

The river’s closest city, Norilsk, is known as one of the most polluted cities on Earth. Unlike China’s crimson beach, pollution from the nearby nickel smelting plants and ore refineries are suspected causes of the color shift.

NASA eventually was able to step in with evidence that factory waste is indeed the cause of the contamination.

red russian river

Norilsk Nickel initially denied any wrongdoing, but has since made repairs to their pipes.

“There is no danger to fish or people.” – Chief Operating Officer of Nornickel, Sergey Dyachenko


“BIONs” – short for Believe It or Not – is the word we use at Ripley’s to refer to anything that is unbelievable and worthy to become part of Ripley’s lore and collection.