Amongst thousands and thousands of lakes that are distributed all over the planet, there are some that possess truly amazing characteristics. One of the most extraordinary is, undoubtedly, the huge Lake Baikal, declared ain 1996.
Lake Baikal is now a place of pilgrimage and tourism, where each year, millions of people come to see the surreal.
Lake Baikal facts
- The Baikal is a lake unbelievably large (31,494 square kilometers in area) and the deepest lake on Earth (1,637 meters, although, if all sediments are removed, it would reach 9 kilometers). It contains 20 percent of all the fresh water resources of our planet. If the entire world population only drank water from this lake, it could survive for 40 years without any problem.
- To understand the scale of the lake even better, let’s imagine that we took all the water from the Baikal and spread it on the Earth. Then we could cover the whole planet with a water height of about 20 cm.
- Lake Baikal is also the oldest lake known. Its age reaches 25 million years. It was a holy place for the Asians for many centuries. Nowadays, its water is used in some medical treatments.
- The Baikal is considered potable thanks to the conscientious cleaning done by the micro organ-isms that inhabit it.
- The name of Baikal derives from the Tartar ‘Bai-Kul’, which means ‘a rich lake’.
- From space it looks like a blue crescent that is 636 km long and 80 km wide at its peak.
- There are those who get nervous when sailing on Lake Baikal, because its crystal clear waters allow you to see up to 50m.
Lake Baikal Flora and Fauna
The exclusivity of the physical and geographical characteristics of the lake Baikal is the main cause of the extraordinary diversity of its flora and fauna. It is the other reason why it is so special. Lake Baikal is home for 1.085 species of plants and 1.550 species and varieties of animals. More than 80% of the animals are endemic. We can talk about animals and plants for quite a long time. But let’s make this story short.
The mammals that are most widespread among the upland high ridges are mountain goats, snow sheep, marmots and lemmings. Sometimes on the valley zones you can come across a brown bear. In the taiga zone there are a lot of reindeer, elks, moose, musk deer, wild boars. In the woods you can meet wolves as well.
Do you know what the most famous fish in Baikal is? It is an omul fish. It also tastes really good and you can try it in any restaurant. Many people come to this place to see a serpa or a Baikal seal.
Why? Well, because it is a kind and marvelous animal and it is also unique. This is the only place where you can come across the Baikal seal. You can also have a diving session in the lake to see all of its beauty even deeper.
How to Get There
The lake Baikal is on the border between two Russian provinces: Irkutsk and Buryatia. The region is re-mote and in the southeast area you won’t meet a lot of inhabitants. It is a place with one of the longest and most difficult connections to the rest of the planet.
You can take a plane to Moscow and from there make a trip through Russian on a train to reach the Baikal. The famous Trans-Siberian train surrounds the entire length of the lake and is the best way to travel there. The route includes a passage through 200 bridges and 33 tunnels. Along the way you will find several road markets, where you can try to smoke omul and some local delicacies. Don’t forget that the place has a rigorous climate. Take warm clothes with you.
If you are not a scientist, the only purpose of a trip to remote places like Lake Baikal will be to marvel one of the most beautiful and well protected places in the world. Enjoy every glance you take at this unbelievable wonder of nature.