The mystery of a stream that turned blood red has been solved after an investigation by the Environment Agency.
Villagers were left puzzled when the babbling brook near Moulton, in Northamptonshire, flowed a gory crimson hue last week.
Rumours began to circulate on social media about the likely cause – with some comparing it to a horror film and others fearing it was a sign of the apocalypse.
One person wrote on Facebook: “The start of the book of revelations. Thou local waters will turn red like blood is the sign of the coming of the Anti Christ.”
Pep Finn-Scinaldi, 28, who lives close to the stream, said: “At first I thought something had died as it looked like blood.
“But when it was all the way along we said it must have been a whale to create that much blood.”
In the end, the reason turned out to be a lot less dramatic – when Environment Agency chiefs found an ink spillage had caused the water to flow red.
A spokesman said: “The water has returned to its natural colour and, apart from the discolouration, we do not believe there were any negative environmental effects.
“We have worked with Anglian Water to trace the source of the red colouration through the surface water drains.
“The red colour was caused by a water-based ink which has no environmental impact.”