The normally-clear water of the Hochgurtel Fountain in Carlton Gardens has turned a ghoulish shade of red, and Jesus had nothing to do with it. 

Is it blood? A nice, blended Shiraz? Highly toxic algae? 

Neither: it’s the work of a crafty prankster, who appears to have tipped food dye into the fountain. 

City of Melbourne spokesperson confirmed to PEDESTRIAN.TV that it’s aware of the spike-job and, thankfully, believes the water remains non-toxic to local flora and fauna.

“The fountain is connected to a nearby lake in the gardens, which subsequently also turned a shade of red,” we were told. “The red water is non-toxic to flora and fauna and likely the result of food dye being placed in the fountain.

Remediation works are currently underway to drain the fountain and the lake. They should both return to their normal colouring by tomorrow.”

The council has also reported the prank to Victoria Police, which seems fair considering the hassle and expense of having the fountain and lake drained.

Still, nothing could ever be more deserving of a slap on the wrist than this prank:

Actually, make that jail time.

Photo: Twitter / @denhamsadler.