Several places on the planet could claim the title of the eighth wonder of the world. We have this, undoubtedly, Baikal. It is ahead of other lakes in terms of Guinness records, and interesting facts related to it attract many tourists to Russia every year.
In ancient times, this lake was called Bei-Hai (North Sea) and was mentioned in Chinese written monuments. In Mongolian Baikal was called Baigaal-Dalai, which translates as "rich fire", and in Turkic languages - Bay-Kul, which means "rich lake".
Baikal is the world's largest freshwater reservoir. 1/5 of all natural reserves of fresh water are located there. If this water is poured into cisterns and divided among all Russians, each will get nearly 3000 tank wagons! Even the five Great American Lakes taken together cannot compete in the amount of water with Lake Baikal.
The water in the lake is so clean that you can drink it right away, without pretreatment. This, too, can no longer boast of any lake on the planet.
If water suddenly disappeared in Lake Baikal, all the world's rivers would need a year of “work” to re-fill the lake.
The taste of the water in Baikal is very similar to distilled water, with very little dissolved and suspended mineral substances, negligible organic impurities, and a lot of oxygen.
By the end of winter, the ice thickness on Lake Baikal reaches 1 m, and in the bays - 1, 5-2 m. In severe frost, cracks, which are locally known as “back cracks, ” break the ice into separate fields. The length of such cracks is 10-30 km, and the width is 2-3 m. Breaks occur annually in approximately the same areas of the lake. They are accompanied by a loud crash, reminiscent of thunder or cannon shots. Thanks to cracks in the ice, fish on the lake do not die from lack of oxygen.
Baikal is the oldest lake on Earth. According to scientists' calculations, it may be up to 35 million years old. Despite such a venerable age, the lake is very young: its shores are still actively moving, shifting up to 2 cm per year.
Baikal is also the lake with the greatest depth. The maximum distance from the bottom to the surface is 1642 meters. But, perhaps, the lake is even deeper, just a deeper point has not yet been found.
People go to Baikal not only for natural beauty, but also for the sun: in some parts of the lake there is clear weather 300 days a year.
The Baikal rift zone belongs to the territories with high seismicity: earthquakes regularly occur here, the strength of most of which is one or two points. However, there are also strong ones; Thus, in 1862, during the ten-point Kudara earthquake in the northern part of the Selenga delta, a land area of 200 km² with 6 uluses, in which 1, 300 people lived, went under water, and Proval Bay was formed. The last strong earthquakes on Lake Baikal occurred in August 2008 (9 points) and in February 2010 (6, 1 points).
By the number of unique animals, Baikal resembles the Australian continent. More than 3600 representatives of flora and fauna live in the lake and on the shores, about 70% of which are not found anywhere else. Baikal is home to one of the most ancient animals on the planet - sponges. And the famous Baikal sturgeon lives in its waters: a one and a half meter handsome man weighing more than 100 kg. On the shores of Lake Baikal, a cedar tree, which celebrated its 550th anniversary, grows, and a real old-timer among larches - a tree that is more than 700 years old! In 1996, Baikal was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.