Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

'Dead animals, excrement, car wrecks and rubbish'

No, it's not the chorus of the worst Country&Western song ever; according to the warning signs, all of these things can all be found in the once-limpid waters of an abandoned quarry at Harpur Hill near Buxton.

It's a venue we have visited before, when the Daily Mail sent a reporter to interview some of the families flocking from far and wide to paddle in the blue water, regardless of the litter festooning its shores.

The science was admirably covered by Leg-Iron at the time, so I won't go into it here; essentially minerals from the surrounding rock have turned water collecting in the excavation a startling shade turn of blue while rendering it sufficiently alkaline to be inimical to life.

In the minds of the impressionable, this dazzling colour clearly resembled the artfully-shot illustrations of tropical seas that adorn expensive travel brochures so, in a triumph of hope over reality, they would set off to the polluted Midlands quarry for a day trip to Paradise (The extent of their optimism can be judged by the Mail's pictures here.)

Then some bright spark dubbed it 'The Blue Lagoon' and its fame began to spread on the internet; according to a BBC interviewee, visitors were coming from as far afield as Holland. Even last summer's news articles, complete with lurid descriptions of the hazards lurking there, do not appear to have acted as a deterrent.

Warning signs around the perimeter appear to have had no effect either, so, as a measure of last resort before someone became seriously ill or met with an accident, the local authority has now taken action and dyed the water black.

This is, of course, a Good Thing and will prevent human beings coming to harm - assuming they don't actually enter the water and encounter the wreckage now obscured in the murky depths - but it does illustrate admirably the point that official intervention is proving to be an increasing obstacle to Natural Selection.

Sorry, Mankind; it's all downhill from here.

6 comments:

  1. "This is, of course, a Good Thing and will prevent human beings coming to harm - assuming they don't actually enter the water and encounter the wreckage now obscured in the murky depths ..."

    LAWSUIT!!! ;)

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  2. Julia, I bet there are ambulance-chasing solicitors salivating at the prospect right now.

    This, presumably, means yet more warning signs; in fact, now they have been featured in the press, there is surely a risk that the signs themselves will start to become an attraction.

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  3. They just want to make a film - Creature from ...

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  4. JH, it must be due for a remake by now.

    Since zombies are the menace du jour, how about some awful subsequent change of the sort happening in those who have immersed themselves in the water, preferably after they get home?

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  5. Hungry for a new post, Macheath.

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