Lake Baikal, in the south eastern corner of Siberia is one of Russia’s hidden treasures and it is surprising to learn that little is known about it beyond its native shores.
Quite simply, Lake Baikal is the oldest and the deepest Lake in the world and there are many other records and fascinating facts associated with this vast expanse of water.
How deep is Lake Baikal?
In simple measurements, the figures used to measure the depth of Lake Baikal are so large that it’s almost impossible to comprehend. At its deepest point, the Lake stretches down to 1,642 metres (5,387 feet) and the average depth right across the area is around 744 metres (2,442 feet).
The surface area is enormous too and although it doesn’t quite compare with some of the Great Lakes of North America, Baikal has a total area of 31,722 km2 (12,248 square miles). Mere statistics often don’t give you a chance to fully understand the vastness of a natural resource such as this but in simple terms, Lake Baikal makes up for around 20% of the earth’s unfrozen freshwater reserve.
In 1996, Lake Baikal was granted UNESCO World Heritage status for many reasons other than just size and how deep it is.
The area in and around the Lake is home to a vast array of Flora and Fauna and it is a truly beautiful region that is an unusual but rewarding place in which to take a holiday. In addition, there are around 1200 listed monuments in this fascinating region to see and explore.
Bursting with life
Once again, the figures associated with plant and wildlife in Lake Baikal are simply stunning and overall there are 1,340 species of animal and 570 species of plant here and around two thirds of those species are unique to the region.
One creature whose existence hasn’t been verified is the Lake Baikal monster and, when you consider the vast depth of the Lake itself, perhaps it’s no great surprise that a legend has grown up here.
Needless to say, there have been no verified sightings of this monster which is described by many as sturgeon-like in its appearance. If any such creature does exist, maybe it’s a prehistoric throwback or perhaps it could actually be a sturgeon because the world’s largest example was landed here, measuring around 27 feet. Perhaps an even bigger beast waits to be captured.
More than just mere size
The incredible dimensions of Lake Baikal tell only half the story and the spectacular tranquillity of the region as a whole make it an almost magical place. It may not quite be the world’s oldest lake but when you consider that estimates place the age of the lake at between 25 and 30 million years old and when you know that fact, it only seems to add to the overall majesty.
So when you ask how deep is Lake Baikal you now know the answer but when you discover the solution, it can often lead to more questions that can only be answered with a visit to the Lake and the surrounding areas.