Mysterious Orange Snow Bewilders Residents In Russia (VIDEO)

Residents of the city of Saratov, some 858 km from the Russian capital, have been shocked as they looked out of the windows and saw their neighborhoods covered with orange snow.

The residents shared the news in social networks as the colorful snow appeared to be seen in almost all parts of the city. Its color varied from light yellow to intensive orange.  The orange colored snow is only being reported in that one city.

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Such unconventional snowfall caused numerous concerns among the city people. Some social network users were worried that could be radioactive or could contain harmful chemical substances. Others were afraid they had problems with eyes and color vision.

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Local residents contacted the Svobodnye Novosti news agency, which quizzed an expert on the phenomenon.

Saratov weather forecast service director Mikhail Boltukhin said it was quite a common event and it was absolutely harmless for people and animals. He said the orange snow was caused by a cyclone from the Western Sahara which brought some sand from the African desert to Russia.

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“The air coming from the West contains tiny particles of sand, which give the falling snow an orange hue,” Boltukhin said. “Similar phenomena have been observed recently in various districts of the region and in other parts of the country, particularly in Crimea. ”There are no toxic substances, as it is natural sand, the expert added.

In 2007, an orange snow covered over 1500 sq km (570 sq miles) in the Omsk region of Russia. That stuff was oily and smelled rotten and was blamed on the area’s oil industry, although it also contained four times the normal level of iron ore.

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Colored snow can have other causes. Red-and-pink watermelon snow is common in alpine regions and gets its colors and telltale smell of watermelon from an algae (Chlamydomonas nivalis). So-called blood snow falls near Blood Falls in Antarctica’s Taylor Glacier for a different reason. Iron-rich saltwater leaking from an ancient reservoir under the glacier oxidizes when it hits the air and turns the waterfall and snow blood red.

Saharan sand, algae, oxidation … or something else?

Source:  RT

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