Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world on the basis of its volume. It is located in Southern Siberia, exactly between the Buryat Republic on the southeast and Irkutsk Oblast on the northwest. The lake is about 397 miles long and 50 miles wide.
It is the deepest lake in the world, at 1,620 meters (5,314 feet). It is also the clearest and the oldest freshwater lake in the world estimated at being approximately 25 million years old. It was formed in an ancient rift valley. This lake contains approximately 19% of the total unfrozen freshwater reserve in the world. In 1996 it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Quick Facts: –
- Lake Baikal’s water gets completely renewed every 383 years. Its water level is at 456 meters above sea level.
- There are about 100 gas volcanoes that were found but currently there are no active ones.
- Active volcanoes can be found in the valley basin known as the Tunkinskaya Valley, which is a continuation of Baikal Rift.
- A total of 336 rivers empty into Lake Baikal. Only one flows out which is the Upper Angara.
- There are more than thirty rocky islands in this lake including the world’s second largest island in a lake, Olkhon.
- The water in the lake has exceptional clarity and sometimes you can see into the lake for a depth of more than 40 meters.
- There are many grottoes on the shores of the lake and when it freezes in winter amazing icicles are created in those grottoes.
- This lake has also got a nickname ‘Pearl of Russia’.
- The rift is geologically active that cause the lake to widen by approximately 0.79 inches a year.