Video of a remote lake in the Siberian region of Russia dramatically turning blood-red sparked a frenzy online, stirring fear among observers who began viewing it as a sign of the apocalypse.

Aerial drone footage of the Burlinskoye Lake showed the water body turning red entirely which gave rise to discussions about possible 'apocalyptic' scenarios and 'biblical' warnings that often pertain to such 'signs'.

Red lake
Representational Image Pickpic

The Book of Revelations in the Bible provides a graphic description of how the rivers "will run red during the end times". Hence, one cannot be blamed making such a connection of after watching the video.

Should We Be Concerned?

"That looks like trouble," a viewer reacted while another pointed out how it may not be the literal blood that the Bible talks about. "Biblically inspired metaphors never seem to turn out the way you expect," the viewer said according to The Express.

Some found humor in the strange event. A viewer asked, "Is this a hint of a resurgence of communism?". However, locals were quick to dispel the apocalyptic claims, explaining that the bizarre change in the color of the water occurs annually and not strange to the region.

An Extraordinary-yet-ordinary Phenomenon

In fact, during summers, the Altai region is flocked by Russian tourists who visit to catch a glimpse of the lake that turns 'red' during dry and hot weather. The change in color can be attributed to a tiny species of the brine shrimp called Artemia salina, which lives in the lake. The shrimps give out a unique pink pigment which becomes brighter during certain weather conditions.

Brine Shrimp
Brine Shrimp Wikimedia Commons

At the peak of summer, the lake's salt concentration is close to what is typically found in the dead sea, which also suggests that humans may not be able to sink in its waters. Many visit the Burlinskoye Lake for health purposes as well. However, they must wear protective footwear while wading through its pink waters due to the sharp salt crystals at the bottom of the lake.

Nevertheless, the lake is not the first of its kind. The phenomenon has been observed in Lake Kucuk and Lake Tuz in Turkey as well as Lake Utah in the US. When the climate becomes warmer in these areas and the water levels recede, this strange effect from the pink brine shrimp underneath can be observed.