You can find entire volumes of information about Baikal, both on the Internet and in various magazines and book publications. The lake is not deprived of attention from tourists, researchers and politicians. From year to year, staggering scientific discoveries are connected with Baikal, expeditions are constantly equipped for thorough research. I decided to devote this topic to the most interesting facts and events related to Lake Baikal. I will try to save you from boring geographical terms, here will be only the most interesting. Most of the photos in the subject are clickable (open with a click)
Record belongs to a place: Russia
Baikal – One of the oldest lakes on the planet and the deepest lake in the world. Baikal is among the ten largest lakes in the world. Its average depth is about 730 meters, maximum – 1637 meters. In 1996, Baikal was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Scientists disagree on the origin of Lake Baikal, as well as on its age. Scientists traditionally determine the age of the lake at 25-35 Ma. This fact also makes Baikal a unique natural object, since most of the lakes, especially of glacial origin, live on average 10–15 thousand years, and then are filled with muddy sediments and become swamped. There is also a version of the relative youth of Baikal, advanced by Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences Alexander Tatarinov in 2009, which received indirect confirmation during the second stage of the “Worlds” expedition on Baikal. In particular, the activity of mud volcanoes at the bottom of Baikal allows scientists to assume that the modern shoreline of the lake is only 8 thousand years old, and the deep-water part – 150 thousand years
Baikal contains about 19% of the world’s freshwater reserves. There is more water in Baikal than in all five Great Lakes combined and 25 times more than, for example, in Lake Ladoga.
The water in the lake is so clear that individual stones and various objects can be seen at a depth of 40 m. The purest and clearest water of Baikal contains so little mineral salts (100 mg / l) that it can be used instead of distilled Baikal is inhabited by 2 630 species and varieties of plants and animals, 2/3 of which are endemic, that is, they live only in this reservoir. Such an abundance of living organisms is explained by a high oxygen content throughout the entire thickness of the Baikal water. Photo of Baikal from space
The most interesting in Baikal is viviparous golomyanka fish, whose body contains up to 30% fat. It surprises biologists with daily fodder migrations from the depths to shallow waters.
The second, after the golomyanka, is the miracle of Baikal, to which it owes its exceptional purity, the crustacean epishura (has about 300 species). The Baikal epishura is a copepod crustacean, 1 mm long, a representative of plankton, it is found throughout its depth (it is not found in bays where the water warms up). If Baikal would not be Baikal without this copepod, barely visible to the eye, surprisingly efficient and numerous, it has done ten times a year, and even more than filter all Baikal water.
A typical marine mammal lives here – a seal, or a Baikal seal.
The water reserves of Baikal would be enough for 40 years for the inhabitants of the whole Earth, and at the same time 46 x 1015 people could quench their thirst
Baikal ice scientists presents many mysteries. Thus, in the 1930s, specialists from the Baikal Limnological Station discovered unusual forms of ice cover, characteristic only for Baikal. For example, “hills” – cone-shaped ice hills up to 6 meters high, hollow inside. They look like ice tents, “open” to the opposite side from the coast. Hills can be placed separately, and sometimes form a miniature “mountain ranges”
In the pictures from the satellite on the ice of Lake Baikal dark rings 5–7 km in diameter are clearly visible. The origin of the rings is not known. Scientists believe that the rings on the ice of the lake may have already appeared many times, but it was impossible to examine them because of the huge size. Now, with the use of the latest technology, this has become possible, and scientists will begin to study this phenomenon. Such rings were first discovered in 1999, then in 2003, 2005. As can be seen, rings do not form each year. Rings are also not located in the same place. Scientists are particularly interested in the reason for the displacement of the rings in 2008 to the south-west, compared with 1999, 2003 and 2005. In April 2009, such rings were again found, and again in a different place than last year. Scientists suggest that rings are formed due to the release of natural gas from the bottom of Baikal. However, the exact causes and mechanisms of formation of dark rings on the ice of Lake Baikal have not yet been studied and no one knows their exact nature.
The Baikal region (the so-called Baikal rift zone) belongs to areas with high seismicity: earthquakes occur here regularly, most of which are one or two points on the MSK-64 intensity scale. However, there are also strong ones, so in 1862 during the ten-point Kudara earthquake in the northern part of the Selenga delta, a land area of 200 km went under water? with 6 ulus, in which lived 1,300 people, and formed the Bay Proval
A unique NT-200 deep-water neutrino telescope, built in 1993–1998, was created and functions on the lake, which is used to detect high-energy neutrinos. At its base NT-200 + neutrino telescope is being created with an increased effective volume, the construction of which is expected to be completed no earlier than 2017.
The first dives of inhabited apparatuses at Baikal were made in 1977, when the bottom of the lake was explored using Canadian-made deep-water apparatus “Pysys”. In Listvenichny Bay, a depth of 1,410 meters was reached. In 1991, the Paysis from the eastern side of Olkhon sank to a depth of 1,637 meters.
In the summer of 2008, the Mira Research Expedition on Baikal was conducted by the Foundation for the Conservation of Lake Baikal". There were 52 dives of the deep-sea habitable apparatuses “Mir” on the bottom of Baikal. Scientists brought to the Research Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences named after P. Shirshov water, soil and microorganisms samples raised from the bottom of Baikal
In 1966, production began at the Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill (BPPM), as a result of which the adjacent bottom areas of the lake began to degrade. Dust and gas emissions adversely affect the taiga around the BPPM, there is a dry top and forest drying up. In September 2008, the plant introduced a closed system of water circulation, designed to reduce the discharge of wash water. According to the source, the system turned out to be inoperable and less than a month after its launch, the plant had to be stopped
There are many legends associated with Baikal. The most fascinating of them is connected with the Angara River: In old times, the mighty Baikal was cheerful and kind. He loved his only daughter Angara. More beautiful it was not on earth. During the day it is lighter – brighter than the sky, at night it is dark – darker than a cloud. And whoever drove past the Angara, everyone admired her, all praised her. Even migratory birds: geese, swans, cranes – descended low, but Angara rarely landed on the water. They said: “Is it possible to light black?”
Old Baikal took care of his daughter more than his heart. Once, when Baikal fell asleep, Angara rushed to run to the young man Yenisei. Father woke up, angrily splashed waves. A fierce storm arose, mountains sobbed, forests fell, the sky turned black with grief, the animals scattered in fear throughout the land, the fish dived to the very bottom, the birds flew toward the sun. Only the wind howled, but the sea-hero raged. The mighty Baikal hit the hoary mountain, broke off a rock from it and threw it after the fleeing daughter. The rock fell on the very throat of a beautiful woman. The blue-eyed Angara pleaded, gasping and sobbing, began to ask:
– Father, I am dying of thirst, forgive me and give me at least one drop of water.
Baikal shouted angrily:
– I can only give my tears!
For thousands of years Angara flows into the Yenisei with water and tears, and the gray-haired lonely Baikal has become gloomy and terrible. The rock that Baikal threw after the daughter was called the people by the Shaman stone. Rich sacrifices were made there to Baikal. People said: “Baikal will be angry, tear down the shaman’s stone, the water will rush and flood the whole earth”. At present, the river is blocked by a dam, therefore only the tip of the shaman’s stone is visible from the water.
There is a legend about the creation of Lake Baikal "The Lord looked: the earth came out unkind … no matter how she became offended by it! And so that she would not hold offense, she took and lifted up to her not some kind of bedding, but her own measure of her bounty, which she measured, what could be the benefit of him. The measure fell and turned into Baikal."
You can stand at Baikal all day and all life and not see it twice the same. And when you look at his endless reincarnations, it becomes clear why coastal residents speak of him as alive – respectfully and reverently, they consider, for example, that Baikal might be offended or angry. Siberians talk about him "sea". And it is not by chance that the old song begins with the line:"Glorious sea, sacred Baikal" Lake Baikal called the miracle of nature in all respects. There is no more lake in the world that would have enjoyed such loud glory
Indigenous Siberians have mystical feelings for Lake Baikal. They believe that Baikal is not just 23 thousand cubic kilometers of water in the bogatyr stone bowl, but a living being, a wizard and a healer, with whom you should not joke, and you shouldn’t make him angry either
At the end of a few beautiful pictures (the author of most of them, like half of the photos in this topic – Kot_Old)
One of the most beautiful bays of Baikal, the water is so clear that you can see the bottom
Lake Baikal is the finalist of the competition. "7 wonders of Russia"