Lonely Planet Writer

This river in the Pyrenees has turned bright green - and it’s not an early St Patrick's Day celebration

Residents living near the Valira River in the Pyrenees were shocked on Thursday to wake up to find the river had turned a lurid shade of green.

The Valira’s fluorescent new look began near its source in Andorra, before moving downstream to the Valira valley in Catalonia, northern Spain

The river’s freak appearance was reminiscent of scenes in Chicago, where the river is dyed green every year for St Patrick’s Day.

A post shared by @dvlmnc on Mar 2, 2017 at 4:46am PST

Albert Batalla, the mayor of La Seu d’Urgell, a town on the river, reassured residents that the green dye was “entirely harmless, non-toxic and biodegradable” and was caused by an investigation at the Arinsal bottling plant into the source of a contamination episode last year.

And thankfully it gave locals the opportunity to take to social media with some weird and wonderful photos of the green waterway.

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