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Siberian River Mysteriously Turns Red While Venetian Canals Dry Up

Those who were excited about the Super Blue Blood Moon last week probably don’t live in Venice, where the pull of the Moon at its closest approach to Earth further dried up the canals already mysteriously on the edge of being bone dry. And, while the lunar eclipse that turned the Moon blood-red didn’t cause it, frustrated Siberians angry after a local river mysteriously turned the same color may swear at it anyways … at least until they get an explanation. What’s going on?

Better days in Venice

Let’s start with the canals. No matter what color they are, they’re the lifeblood of Venice, so any problems with them – and disappearance is definitely a big one – affect virtually everyone living in or visiting the beautiful city. Photographs taken last week (shown here and here) show gondolas resting in dry canal beds. Unfortunately, ‘dry’ doesn’t mean ‘empty’ as the pictures also reveal the garbage and debris that the waters normally hide.

A water-covered city knows its tidal calendar, so Venice was prepared for the low waters due to the Super Blue Blood Moon. This is also the third year in a row that droughts have contributed to extremely low – although not bone dry – water levels. However, experts are still mystified because the city continues to sink, which should make it prone to flooding – in Venice, that’s a good thing … or at least a better-than-no-water thing. Is the City of Canals destined to become the City of Great Places to Skateboard?

Will we ever see this again?

Meanwhile, a different problem is causing the residents of the Siberian city of Tyumen to avoid the Molchanka River because of what the media is calling … well, you can read it yourself:

“Experts say they so far cannot pinpoint the cause of what state news agency Itar-Tass called a ‘Biblical bombshell’.”

The “biblical bombshell” is a river that mysteriously and quickly turned red (more pictures here) and has not changed its hue in over a week. Tyumen is the home of many oil and gas companies, so the first inclination is to point fingers at them, not the bible. However, local officials doubted that explanation.

“Team of experts examining the area found no trace of sewage discharges. Extra water samples were taken. Laboratory results will be ready by the end of this week.”

That was on January 31st and no results have been released as of this writing, days after the “end of the week.” Meanwhile, the water isn’t moving, some residents say it’s getting redder and the Russian environmental watchdog group Rosprirodnadzor (The Federal Service for Supervision of Use of Natural Resources) isn’t making anyone feel better with comments like this:

“We have never dealt with this before so we are waiting for the results of tests.”

Hey, at least they have an environmental watchdog group.

While many people today (including news agencies) are quick to use the terms “biblical,” apocalyptic” and “end times” (like the story today about birds falling from the sky), the real problem is that our waterways and oceans are being affected constantly by humans (yes, the moon influenced the tide in Venice but humans built the city in spite of it) and watchdog groups are becoming an endangered species.

Are songs like “Watching the River Flow” and “Blue Bayou” destined for extinction too?


Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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