Located in south-central Siberia, not far from the Mongolian border and surrounded by mountains, forests and wild rivers, Baikal is an immense and breathtaking area of natural beauty.
Lake Baikal is the world’s largest freshwater lake in terms of volume. It is about 640 km (397 miles) long, and 80 km (50 miles) wide. It is also the deepest lake in the world, at 1,620 meters (5,314 feet).
It contains 20% of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve.
There are more than thirty rocky islands in Lake Baikal.One of them is the world’s second largest island in a lake, Olkhon.
Known as the ‘Galapagos of Russia‘, its age and isolation have produced one of the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science.
On Lake Baikal about a hundred gas (“mud”) volcanoes were found.
The water of Lake Baikal is renowned for being some of the clearest in the world. When the lake freezes during the winter, an amazing phenomena takes place: large shards of transparent ice form on the surface of the lake, giving the amazing appearance of turquoise ice.
In the photographs taken from space on the ice of Lake Baikal were found dark rings with a diameter of 5-7 kilometers, which appear in the same places, but not every year.
On the shores of Lake Baikal there are many grottoes.When Lake Baikal freezes in winter, the waves create amazing icicles in grottoes.
Lake Baikal is home to more than 2,000 species of plants and animals, two-thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world, including the Baikal omul fish and Baikal oil fish as well as the nerpa, one of the world’s only freshwater species of seal.
The water of Lake Baikal is the most transparent of all freshwater lakes. In some areas of the lake you can see the bottom of it at a depth of 40 meters(130 feet)!
Ice on Lake Baikal in many places is completely transparent.
Water in the Lake Baikal is completely renewed approximately every 383 years.
The area of Lake Baikal is about equal to the area of the whole country – Belgium.
The water level in Lake Baikal is at 456 meters (1496 feet) above sea level.
Lake Baikal experiences some real storms, the wave height of which that reaches up to 4-5 meters!
The lake was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Deep manned submersibles “Mir” found at the bottom of Lake Baikal huge amounts of gas hydrates.
In March of 2010, Jim Denevan and his crew created a large scale artwork on the frozen surface of Lake Baikal, Siberia. The spiral of circles, along a fibonacci curve, grow from an origin of 18″ to several miles in diameter.
Lake Baikal has been called the “Pearl of Russia”, and this is indeed a well-deserved name!