Ask Baikal

Hi there! My name is Maxim Milyutin. I am based in Irkutsk, Russia's Siberia. Traveller, organiser of local travel talks, and owner of Irkutsk hostel. Travel for me is not necessary movement to some place far away from home, it's a state of soul. That's why I like to travel around my home region and and abroad as well. I'm happy to share my knowledge about Baikal with everybody! Feel free to ask me about Lake Baikal via the contact form Tatiana Baksheeva, our previous blog runner, remains with us as a contributor.

The King of Iced Seas… continued)

Here are some more beautiful Lake Baikal ice panoramas… You know. these pics really make me thinking about hiking on frozen Lake Baikal… What about you?

Scientists predict that Baikal will exist even when the face of our planet will change beyond recognition - and it's many thousands of years.

Locals call Lake Baikal – the Sea. Its length is 636 kilometers and its width is only 80

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Baikal Superlatives #8. Chilliest Lake

Even in June the Nerpa are found basking on ice floes. The water temperature by mid-June is normally only 4 degrees Centigrade (amazingly, millions of years ago Baikal was a warm swallow lake with tropical plants growing on its shores).

Nerpa at Ushkaniy Island, Photo courtesy Vasiliy Maslukov

Baikal Superlatives #6. Greatest depression on land

The bottom of the lake is composed of an extraordinarily thick layer ?? sediment. In some places the depth from surface to bedrock is more than 7 kilometres, or 7 times as deep as the Grand Canyon.

Lake Baikal shore stones. Photo courtesy Vasiliy Maslukov

Baikal Superlatives #5. Seventh Larget Lake (in surface area)

At 34,000 square kilometers, Baikal is larger than Belgium. Crescent-shaped, 636 kilometers (400 miles) north-to-south, 81 kilometers across, it has 2000 kilometers of shoreline. It is more or less the same size as Lake Superior.

Lake Baikal. A view from Ushkaniy Island to Svyatoy Nos (Saint Nose). Photo courtesy Vasiliy Maslukov

Baikal Superlatives #4. Largest Lake (in volume)

Baikal contains 23,000 cubic kilometers of pure, delicious, oxygen-saturated, life-giving water, more than all five Great Lakes combined. This is one-fifth of all fresh water liquid reserves on earth. It takes 400 years for all the water in Baikal to drain out through its outlet, the Angara river.

Lake Baikal's pure water. Photo courtesy Vasiliy Maslukov

Baikal Superlatives. No.3. Deepest Lake

By varying estimates, Baikal is 1, 637 meters (or 6 300 feet, or 1, 2 miles) deep.

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake. Photo courtesy Vasiliy Maslukov

Baikal Superlatives. No.2. The Most Eternal Lake

Lake Baikal in Spring. Photo courtesy Vasiliy Maslukov

The movements of the Earth’s crust are widening the fault under the lake by 2 centimeters (1 inch) every year. Thus Baikal can collect new sediment without any loss to its huge volume.

Baikal Superlatives. No.1. The Oldest Lake

Between 20 and 25 million years of age, possibly even 50 million years old. Besides Lake Tangyanika (about 2 million years), all other lakes date back less than 20,000 years.