Bright blue dogs might be pollution's weirdest effect ever.

What the heck is going on here?

One of these things is not like the others. Image from Business Insider/YouTube.

Sometimes people like to call the (pretty darn adorable) Australian Cattle Dog a blue heeler. But some stray dogs from the city of Navi Mumbai, India, just turned really blue. We're talking bright, cotton-candy Smurf blue.


The suddenly blue pups have become big news, popping up in stories from a number of different news organizations, including the Hindustan Times, Daily Mail, and Business Insider.

What could have turned the dogs such an an unnatural color. The short answer? Pollution.

These dogs are from the city's Taloja industrial area, which is home to nearly 1,000 different pharmaceutical and industrial factories. According to the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell, one of the companies has been illicitly dumping blue dye into the local Kasadi river. When the dogs went in the water to look for food, they inadvertently gave themselves one of the trendiest new looks of 2017.

"It was shocking to see how the dog’s white fur had turned completely blue,” Arati Chauhan, who runs the animal protection group, told the Hindustan Times.

The group says they've seen about five dogs who've been affected and reported the problem to a pollution control board. The board says they've identified the source and have told the company to fix it.

So far, there's no word on whether the dye is dangerous, nor whether other animals have been affected, although the animal protection group is worried about wider effects.

The images are dramatic, but unfortunately, it's rarely this easy to spot pollution.

Though the dyes were dramatic, many types of pollution are much harder to spot. The Kasadi river, for instance, already had as much as 13 times the safe amount of industrial pollutants in it.

Back in the United States, as many as half of our waterways may be in poor condition, according to a 2013 EPA report. The Trump administration has also pushed to rollback Obama-era water protection rules.

Regular monitoring and enforcing of pollution levels is important. We shouldn't have to rely on wild packs of aquamarine dogs to let us know our rivers' health.

Watch Business Insider's video explainer below:

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