A river in eastern China turned blood red on Thursday, prompting outrage among those who say they can no longer fish there safely.
"A few people that were up and about at 5 a.m. said that everything was normal but then suddenly within the space of a few minutes the water started turning darker and eventually was completely red,” said Na Wan, a resident of Xinmeizhou village in Zhejiang province, NBC News reported
"The really weird thing is that we have always been able to catch fish and you can even drink the water because it's just normally so good. Nobody has any idea how it could have ended up being polluted because there are no factories that dump anything in the water here."
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ABC News reported
that the Wenzhou Environmental Protection Bureau sent inspectors to the scene to take water samples after locals reported the color change and its attendant chemical smell.
“We suspect that somebody dumped artificial coloring in the water because he thought the typhoon yesterday would cause heavy rain, and nobody would notice [the color],” said bureau chief Jianfeng Xiao.
“It turned out there wasn’t heavy rainfall yesterday, so the evidence is left behind."
Xiao said it could have also been related to the paper manufacturer, food coloring company or clothing-maker located along the river.
that this is not the first time a Chinese river has suddenly changed colors. "In 2012, the Yangtze river in Chongqing turned orange red, and in 2011, the Jian river in Henan Province turned a sickening crimson hue," it wrote.
One clever Twitter user pointed out that the incident was not dissimilar to the Biblical tale of Egypt's Ten Plagues. The plagues began when Moses dipped his staff into the Nile, turning it to blood, and killing all the fishes.
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