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'Orange snow' transforms ski slopes in Eastern Europe into Mars-like landscapes

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By Emma Beswick
'Orange snow' transforms ski slopes in Eastern Europe into Mars-like landscapes
Copyright  Instagram/katrin.jd

Skiers in Eastern Europe were left mesmerised as a blanket of orange snow covered slopes at the weekend.

Pictures of the snow were shared on social media from Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania and Moldova.

The phenomenon was thought to be caused by a sandstorm in the Sahara desert.

This Instagram user shared pictures from Sochi in Russia with the caption: "Martian landscapes, apocalypse on the mountain today!"


Further pictures from Sochi showed the bright orange snow, with the user saying: "Mars is attacking!"

Марс атакует ? #smurygins_family_trip

A post shared by Alina Smurygina (@sinyaya_ptiza) on

One Instagram user joked that he "had not grown a second hand" after going on the snow and posted an eerie-looking image with mist rolling across the orange slopes.


A mix of sand, dust and pollen particles stirred up and swept across the sea from storms in northern Africa, giving the snow its orange hue.

The unusual sight occurs around once every five years, according to meteorologists.

A satellite from ESA's Copernicus Programme showed the wave of orange dust as it made its journey across the Mediterranean.

Copernicus Programme
Copernicus Programme