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It’s snowing orange in parts of Russia and it looks incredibly bizarre

Published Mar 27th, 2018 3:26PM EDT

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:

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

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