Lake Baikal, Russia

Lake Baikal is a world-renowned natural wonder and an immense lake located in the stunning region of Siberia in Russia. This incredible lake is the largest and deepest lake in the world, and it is an essential component of the Russian landscape. UNESCO declared the lake and surrounding region a World Heritage Site in 1996, due to the lake’s incredible natural features and its diverse range of plant and animal life.

At 25-30 million years old and with a depth of 1,630 meters, Lake Baikal is one of the oldest and deepest freshwater lakes in the world and is home to more than two thousand species of flora and fauna, meaning it is both vast and incredibly diverse. With a length of 600km, and a width of up to 80km, the lake stretches to cover an area of 31,722 sq km, making it the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume.

As well as being incredibly deep, Lake Baikal is famous for its crystal clear waters which reach depths of up to 40 meters and, in the winter months, the clear surface of the lake allows you to walk across its frozen surface in a truly remarkable experience. Lake Baikal also contains an outstanding diversity of aquatic life, including more than 400 species of endemic (native) plants and animals, such as the nerpa seal which is the only mammal that lives out of the Caspian Sea and is one of the world’s oldest living species.

The beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal is something that’s impossible to truly capture even in pictures, yet there’s much more to the lake than just its size and its crystal clear waters. UNESCO also recognize the immense importance of the lake, declaring it as a World Heritage Site due to its various features including its remarkable biodiversity, its unique sedimentary deposits and its unique landscape.

The lake is also an important source of clean energy, with much of the lake’s water being diverted to the hydroelectric power plant to generate electricity. Baikal also provides an important source of sustenance to the local people, who rely on the lake for food, transport, and livelihood.

It is also an important source of tourism with its incredible landscape, historic sites as well as its abundance of plants and animals drawing tourists from around the world. Its remoteness and picturesque setting makes it an ideal spot for holidays and exploration.

Lake Baikal is an incredible natural wonder that’s important both in terms of its biodiversity and its importance to the local people and to Russia as a whole. UNESCO recognize its importance as they declared it a World Heritage Site, and it’s an incredible spot to view wildlife, explore its unique landscape, and enjoy its beauty.