China’s Yangtze River Mysteriously Turns Bright Red

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The Daily Telegraph reported that the scarlet color may be due to “industrial pollution in silt churned up by recent floods,” according to Chinese officials.

The Yangtze River, the longest one in Asia and the third longest in the world, is a significant part of China’s economy—but its waters suffer from industrial pollution. The Yangtze basin contributes nearly half of the country’s crop production and is the major waterway of China.

Officals have good reason to suspect a chemical culprit in red-river mystery. This isn’t the first time China has seen red: In December 2011, the Jian River turned into a “river of blood” after two small chemical plants illegally dumped red dye into the city’s storm water pipe.

Scroll below for more photos of Chongqing’s scarlet river.”

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