From the deepest and oldest freshwater ecosystem in the world to one of its last unexplored bodies of water, Lake Baikal is one of Russia’s most spectacular natural wonders. Amazing Discoveries
What is Lake Baikal?
Part of the world’s largest freshwater lake, Baikal was carved over millions of years from huge volcanic basaltic lava flows, but the lake is especially dramatic in summer.
Part of the world’s largest freshwater lake, Baikal was carved over millions of years from huge volcanic basaltic lava flows, but the lake is especially dramatic in summer. The first European to discover the lake was Swiss scientist Louis de Margerie in 1872. As luck would have it, he came across it on May 25th, and on his next trip to Siberia, he took a photograph. The photograph, which de Margerie took from a point on the Irkutsk-Ussuri highway (after a snowstorm), caught the attention of the British general Horace Smith-Dorrien, who promptly proclaimed it “a gem which Nature has preserved in utmost primitiveness”.
Why Is It Important To Explore Lake Baikal?
While much of the lake is virtually uninhabited and features massive marine life, there are some notable advantages of venturing out to explore this world-class water destination. If you go, don’t forget your snorkel and mask, as some areas of the lake are simply stunning.
Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world. It is so deep that on the lake floor there is nearly no light and temperatures are nearly constant at around 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lake Baikal has the world’s deepest lake waterfalls, called ‘Baikal spouts’. With a drop of 1,530 feet (518 m), Baikal’s tallest waterfall is situated on the southern shore of the lake and is called Ulyancskaya, which means ‘Great Snowdrop’.
What Surprises Did the Researchers Find in the Lake?
What’s most surprising about Lake Baikal? How little we know about this unique freshwater ecosystem.
On this page, learn more about a number of recent discoveries that scientists have made in the lake:
“Lake Baikal is the oldest body of fresh water on Earth…”
Every summer, the Tomsk researchers took out their portable fluorescents, as well as their 50-foot-long mobile fluoroscopy unit, and ventured into the water.
For the entire summer, the team took water samples as the sun rose in the sky.
How Far Is It From Tomsk to Baikal?
Even though Tomsk is 1,375 miles away from Lake Baikal, the researchers traveled as close as 2.3 miles to the lake to take a closer look at the natural phenomenon that was once thought to be billions of years old.
The Future of Exploration in Lake Baikal
Using the water to create stunning art, breathing underwater the gas used to replace carbon dioxide, to exploring the Yekaterinburg Meteorite, this short series will take a look at how Lake Baikal continues to surprise us.
More Tales from the Deep
Lake Baikal is the largest lake in Russia, but it’s one of the most pristine. It’s perfect for diving, and that makes it a great spot for underwater exploration. In this episode of 13th Sky, Elena Millman catches a speedboat in Lake Baikal in full monster mode.
Central and Eastern Siberia
The largest city in Siberia is also one of its most remote: Irkutsk has a population of a million and can be reached only by air, train or bus. It is situated on the steppe, but it is not a steppe.
During the past two centuries, Russia has experienced a tremendous expansion in its ability to explore and produce natural resources for industry. The country’s main agricultural products were cattle and grain.
Over the last half-century, however, Russia has built itself up into one of the world’s leading exporters of high-quality, low-cost goods, from oil and gas to electronic equipment, automobiles, textiles, metals and foodstuffs.
As impressive as these developments have been, the history of Russian natural resource exploitation stretches back thousands of years, to the end of the Kievan era more than 2,000 years ago.