With its turquoise waters, mountainous scenery, and striking colour variations, Lake Monte Neme, located in Galicia, Spain, seems to be the ideal spot for anyone who decides to make the most of their holiday while continuing to manage their Instagram account in search of new followers.
The ‘Galician Chernobyl’
But this little piece of wilderness paradise is not as idyllic as it seems. The lake is said to be located right above a former tungsten mine dating from the Second World War, and which has been abandoned since the 1980s. Its waters contain toxic minerals, including lead and aluminium. And while the local population call it the ‘Spanish Maldives,’ more recently it has been given another, less flattering nickname: the ‘Galician Chernobyl.’
As you can see, swimming in these waters, which at first glance are very attractive, can have serious health consequences. But for many, the beauty of the place is such that it is impossible to resist a little swim, accompanied by a snapshot intended for social networks.
The objective of an association is limiting access to the lake
As explained in an article by Fredzone, the influencers who fell ill following their visit to Monte Neme had ‘skin lesions,’ and those who swallowed water suffered serious digestive problems. One of the victims even reportedly had allergies in the form of rashes for almost two weeks, explains Sputnik, based on a testimony heard on Spanish radio station COPE. ‘Today it appeared on the news and in several newspapers, my mother is proud,’ the young woman wrote on Twitter in July.
But one problem remains: many tourists still visit Monte Neme because there are no signs or warnings regarding the toxicity of the lake. Currently, the environmental association Salvemos Cabana is fighting with authorities to limit access to the lake.