Parts of eastern Europe hit by 'orange snow'

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"There has been a lot of lifted sand or dust originating from North Africa and the Sahara, from sandstorms which have formed in the desert", Keates told the Independent.

People in eastern Europe are baffled at the appearance of orange-tinted snow that has turned the mountainous regions of Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania into a Martian surface.

This is one of the largest transfers of desert sand from the Sahara to Greece ever, according to the Athens Observatory.

On Thursday, before the orange snow was reported, sand-loaded Saharan winds made their way across the Mediterranean Sea, engulfing the Greek island Crete in a dusty, rust-coloured haze, limiting visibility and extending to Turkey.

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Experts blamed the weird snow - which in some places even looked brown - on a combination of sand and pollen, reports the Sunday Express.

Some skiers have posted photos on social media joking that they were on Mars, not a mountain. A similar occurrence was reported in 2007, when three regions of southern Siberia reported a mysterious oily-looking orange snow.

Where the particles of sand or dust are deposited depends on the direction of the wind. There, the African dust mixed with snow and rain, and then descended from European skies onto snowy slopes.

A more recent event occurred in January 2018 when residents of a town in central Kazakhstan witnessed black snow because of air pollution from the iron and steel industry.

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