The pristine white landscape after a nice heavy snowfall is something that people in snowy areas have come to expect, but parts of eastern Europe have recently been getting a shade of snow that is a whole lot different. Orange-tinted flakes are piling up in parts of Russia, Bulgaria, and Romania, and residents are embracing it with a mixture of aw and confusion.

As the Independent reports, the strange phenomenon has less to do with the snow itself than you might think. The snow is actually mixed with fine sand, giving it a reddish hue and turn ski slopes to a strange shade of orange. Weather experts believe the sand originated in Africa and was swept up in storm systems that carried it north towards Europe. The sand had to come down eventually and, when the system began to dump snow on eastern Europe the fine particles came down along with it.

The photos of the orange snow are truly incredible. It obviously looks quite odd, but it appears that local skiers are having no problem with the sand-snow mixture:

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Марсианские пейзажи, апокалипсис на горе сегодня! Я думала, что такое бывает только вблизи Африки, на Лансароте-Тенерифе или ещё где-то там, этот ветер горячий, который несёт песок из пустыни. Но в Поляне тоже произошло что-то невероятное, хотя пустыни довольно далеко. Если честно, жёлтый песок сверху мокрого снега, – зрелище необычное, но очень грустное. Сезон, и без того короткий, с каждым днём оставляет все меньше надежд на продолжение. #розахутор #песчанаябуря #желтыйснег #бурявкраснойполяне #rosakhutor #yellowsnow #sandstorm

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In fact, everyone seems to love the alien-looking landscape:

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Второй день после выпадения загадочных осадков. Самочувствие хорошее, аномалий не обнаружено, третья рука не выросла. Полагаю версии о токсичных отходах/цементе/или чего-то там ещё, о чем холят слухи в интернетах, можно отсечь. Самый что ни на есть настоящий песок⛰ #sandboarding #nofilter #moodygrams #justgoshoot #aov #artofvisual #artofvisuals #heatercentral #agameoftones #fatalframes #hypebeast #pic #citysquad #gameoftones #createexplore #all_shoots #madrussians #rosakhutor #gorkygorod #krasnayapolyana #горкигород #розахутор #вотэтода #snow #mothernature #naturelover #goodvibes. #инструкторкраснаяполяна #инструкторсноуборд #инструкторпосноуборду

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You’ll probably never get to ski or snowboard on Mars, but this is probably the next best thing.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today,, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.