© Oksana Vasilieva
© Oksana Vasilieva

Amazing facts about the deepest Siberian Lake Baikal

3 minutes to read

Lake Baikal is the deepest Russian lake situated in the southern part of the Eastern Siberia. Baikal is one of the deepest lakes on our planet and the biggest reservoir of unsalted water on the Eurasian continent. Lake Baikal has a tectonic origin. The lake has unique flora and fauna, and most of the species cannot be found anywhere else. The locals traditionally call Lake Baikal “a sacred sea”. If you want to know why the lake is such a precious thing to visit, let me take you on a journey where we will find out several amazing facts about the deepest Siberian Lake Baikal!

© Oksana Vasilieva
© Oksana Vasilieva

What is so unique about Baikal

Siberian people are well aware that the lake water is so pristine because of the small species called Epischura baicalensis. These little fellows are micro crayfish; you will not be able to see them with the naked eye. The crayfish feeds on organic products in the lake, making its water very clean. To contemplate the water, you can travel to the lake during the summer. If you want to swim in Baikal, do not get too expectant, the water is cold even during the hottest summer days. The temperature of the water reaches up to 15C during the warmest period. If you visit Baikal during winter as well, you will be greeted by the most transparent ice that covers the entire lake from early January till early May. The ships can only navigate in the waters of the lake when it is free from the ice.  

© Oksana Vasilieva
© Oksana Vasilieva

A freshwater sea

The depth of the lake is 1642 m, and to make the measurements the scientists had to take data from 1312788 points. The water of Baikal is so pure that one can see the objects located at 40 meters of depth. Curiously, 19% of the world’s freshwater is from Baikal. It is more than water from all the American Great Lakes combined. As I have mentioned previously, the lake is often called a “sea”. This is a privileged status that not all the water reservoirs have. Only Caspian and Aral reservoirs are officially called a “sea”. They are considered the remains of the ancient ocean. Some lakes of the Middle East are now called “seas” as well. 

The taste of Baikal Water

In Siberia, there is famous sparkling water (it tastes a bit like Coca Cola), that is called after the lake. Baikal Water in a bottle first appeared in 1973. To bottle it, the locals put some herbs and aromatic oils inside. To taste it, visit local shops at the lake, or go to Listvyanka that is the closest point from Irkutsk!

Listvyanka Village, Siberia
Listvyanka Village, Siberia
Листвянка, Иркутская обл., Россия, 664520

Sometimes, the locals think that Baikal water is similar to distilled water due to the level of minerals that are naturally not high for freshwater

How huge is the lake

You are probably wondering how big this water reservoir is and where to travel to see the beauties of it. Do not mistake lake Baikal that is in Siberia with the lakes that have similar names. There are some in Russia (located in Yakutia and Tomsk Oblast). Siberian lake Baikal is the biggest of them all. There are several theories about its origin. One states that the lake appeared due to the earthquakes. This theory is proved by the present-day colossal seismic activity on the lake. More than 100 earthquakes happen here every year. However, do not panic, they are not strong. The name of the lake is believed to be translated from Turk language as a “rich lake”. Many European countries could fit on the territory of the lake (its surface is almost 32.000 square kilometers). For example, the entire Malta, Armenia, and Albania could be placed within its area.  

© Oksana Vasilieva
© Oksana Vasilieva

I hope you will enjoy your trip to this region even more now that you know these amazing facts about the deepest Siberian Lake Baikal and what makes it so unique!


The author

Oksana Vasilieva

Oksana Vasilieva

Hi, I am Oksana from Irkutsk, Siberia. I am a linguist and passionate traveler. Being born in the deep Siberian forest, also known as taiga, I thought I would be happier if living in a warmer place. So, I traveled the world, but I always came back to my Siberia. I am excited to share its unique culture with you. Whether you fancy a ride on a dog sled or a dive in winter Baikal waters, follow my stories.

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