Orange snow has Eastern Europe "freaking out"

Orange-tinted slopes have left skiers scratching their heads across parts of Eastern Europe this week. Scientists say sand from Africa's Sahara was lifted into the atmosphere by desert storms and then dragged northeast, where it has fallen as sandy snow from Romania to Russia, creating surreal conditions on what are usually pristine white slopes.

People have posted pictures and videos of the bizarre phenomena, which scientists told the BBC News happens every several years -- though this year's sandy snow seems to be... sandier -- in Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova and Russia, including the former Winter Olympic town of Sochi.

One man in Ukraine took an understated photo of footsteps in slightly tinted snow and posted it with a caption noting that, "people here are freaking out!"

Some complained of getting sand stuck in their hair and faces while on the ski slopes.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This site uses cookies, tokens, and other third party scripts to recognize visitors of our sites and services, remember your settings and privacy choices, and — depending on your settings and privacy choices — enable us and some key partners to collect information about you so that we can improve our services and deliver relevant ads.

By continuing to use our site or clicking Accept, you agree that CBS and our key partners may collect data and use cookies for personalized ads and other purposes, as described more fully in our privacy policy. You can change your settings at any time by clicking Manage Settings.