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Home / Russia Factfile / Seven Wonders of Russia /

The Lake of Baikal











Photo: http://www.ruschudo.ru/

Other pictures of the Baikal

   

The Baikal is a lake in the southern part of Eastern Siberia on the border of Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia.

The Baikal by right is considered the purest, the most ancient and the deepest lake in the world.

The Baikal stretched from the south to the north for 636 km in the shape of a huge half moon. The lake is located in the original hollow surrounded from every side by mountain ridges and hills.

As old as time, the Baikal is alive for about 25-30 million years. Lakes have medium "life" span of about 10-15 million years, so the Baikal became the champion twice.

The Baikal has a phenomenal depth of 1637 meters that allows the lake to have a rank of the deepest lake of the world. The content of the lake is more than 23 thousand cubic kilometers that makes about 22 percent of fresh water supply of the planet. It is difficult to imagine, but the Baikal contains more water, than the five Great Lakes of the North America all together.

Crown it all, the huge half moon of the lake in the east of Siberia occupies 31,5 thousand square kilometers that approximately equals the areas of Denmark, Belgium or the Netherlands.

The water body of the Baikal influences the climate of the coastal territory. Winters here are soft, summers are cool. Incoming of spring at the Baikal is late for 10-15 days in comparison with adjacent areas, and autumn often is long enough. The Baikal is notable for a considerable quantity of sunny days in a year.

According to the data from the Limnological Institute of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2 630 animal and plant species live in the Baikal. About 2/3 of them live only in this reservoir. Such abundance of live organisms is explained by high oxygen content in the Baikal water.

""The holy sea", "the holy lake", "holy water"... From time immemorial such names were given tothe Baikal by aboriginals, by the Russians who came on its coasts already in the XVII century, and by traveling foreigners, who were delighted with its majestic unearthly beauty. Aboriginals treated the Baikal not as a lake, but as a living, thinking and wise being. A lot of legends and stories are connected with it.

Source: http://ru.wikipedia.org/

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