Also called “the pearl of Siberia”, Lake Baikal is the largest reserve of fresh water in the world. Located in the south of Russia, not far from Mongolia, it extends over an area of 31,500 km2 , all over a length of 636 km. Dating back over 25 million years, it is the oldest lake on Earth. Besides that, it would also be the deepest in the world with up to 1,642m deep. In addition to breaking many records, this lake is an incredibly beautiful place. Zoom on this place frozen in time, but unfortunately threatened by global warming and pollution…
Lake Baikal is best known for its almost pristine landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see. This huge lake accounts for about 20% of the world’s volume of fresh water . According to some specialists, “ if the lake were emptied, an entire year would not be enough to fill its basin by diverting all the rivers in the world ”. That’s to say how incredibly big and deep this lake is!
It is often mostly frozen. Many very famous shots have also been taken on this extraordinary lake. Indeed, the average temperature in January is around -20°C each year. Lake Baikal is not frozen all year round since in summer it is rather mild with an average of around 18°C in summer. Many paths surround it and allow you to discover breathtaking panoramas, as well as a very rich fauna and flora. In winter, it is possible to walk on it or to skate on it! The spectacle is impressive, as it is remarkably transparent . Sometimes it is possible to see up to sometimes 40 m deep.
Since 1996, this natural site has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site . There is an extremely rich and original freshwater fauna! More than 1,550 animal species and 600 plant species are listed there. Its antiquity and isolation have given it exceptional value for evolutionary science , earning it the nickname “Russia’s Galápagos” . Like most places where nature still dominates, Lake Baikal is very fragile and this unfortunately affects its health…
A natural site unfortunately threatened
Concern about the state of health of Lake Baikal is not new. The first warning signals date back half a century . Today, the situation seems to have worsened and it now seems difficult to turn back… Indeed, it has never reached such a low level and with such harmful components. Many algae and bacteria produce toxins and therefore methane . Thus, we can consider that all the animal species that inhabit this lake are threatened, as are the plant species and the future of the lake itself.