Baikal

HIGHLIGHTS

Lake Baikal is a rift lake in Russia, located in southern Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast.

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, containing 22–23% of the world’s fresh surface water. Baikal is the world’s deepest lake. It is considered among the world’s clearest lakes and is considered the world’s oldest lake – at 25–30 million years. It is the seventh-largest lake in the world by surface area.

Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long, crescent shape with a surface area of 31,722 km2. Baikal is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, many of which exist nowhere else in the world. The lake was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is also home to Buryat tribes who reside on the eastern side of Lake Baikal, raising goats, camels, cattle, sheep, and horses.

Baikal waters are famous all over the world for their transparency and purity. Not so many places remain on the Earth where it is possible to drink water just drawing it near the shore with a mug and its transparency reaches 40 meters.

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