Lake Baikal

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Lake Baikal
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}}Lake Baikal ({{IPAc-en|b|aɪ|ˈ|k|ɑː|l|,_|-|ˈ|k|æ|l}};"Baikal". Collins English Dictionary. ; , Baigal nuur; , Baigal nuur, etymologically meaning, in Mongolian, "the Nature Lake")Dervla Murphy (2007) Silverland: A Winter Journey Beyond the Urals, London, John Murray, p. 173 is a rift lake in Russia, located in southern Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast.Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, containing 22–23% of the world's fresh surface water.BOOK, Schwarzenbach, Rene P., Philip M. Gschwend, Dieter M. Imboden, Environmental Organic Chemistry, 2003, Wiley Interscience, 2, 1052, 9780471350538, BOOK, Tyus, Harold M., Ecology and Conservation of Fishes, 2012, CRC Press, 116, 978-1-4398-9759-1, With {{convert|23615.39|km3|cumi|-1|abbr=on}} of fresh water, it contains more water than the North American Great Lakes combined.BOOK, Bright, Michael, preface by Koichiro Mastsuura, 1001 natural wonders : you must see before you die, 2010, Cassell Illustrated, London, 9781844036745, 620, 2009, With a maximum depth of {{convert|1642|m|abbr=on}}, Baikal is the world's deepest lake.WEB,weblink Deepest Lake in the World,, 18 August 2007, It is considered among the world's clearestBOOK, Ecosystems and Natural Resources of Mountain Regions. Proceedings of the first international symposium on Lake Baikal: The current state of the surface and underground hydrosphere in mountainous areas. "Nauka", Novosibirsk, Russia, Jung, J., Hojnowski, C., Jenkins, H., Ortiz, A., Brinkley, C., Cadish, L., Evans, A., Kissinger, P., Ordal, L., Osipova, S., Smith, A., Vredeveld, B., Hodge, T., Kohler, S., Rodenhouse, N. and Moore, M., A.I., Smirnov, L.R., Izmest'eva, 2004, 131–140, Diel vertical migration of zooplankton in Lake Baikal and its relationship to body size,weblink 9 August 2009, lakes and is considered the world's oldest lakeWEB,weblink Lake Baikal – A Touchstone for Global Change and Rift Studies, United States Geological Survey,weblink" title="">weblink 2012-06-29, 2016-01-03, – at 25–30 million years.WEB,weblink Lake Baikal – UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 5 October 2012, WEB,weblink Lake Baikal: Protection of a unique ecosystem, ScienceDaily, 26 July 2017, 16 January 2018, It is the seventh-largest lake in the world by surface area.Like Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long, crescent shape with a surface area of {{convert|31722|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}}. Baikal is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, many of which exist nowhere else in the world. The lake was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.WEB,weblink Lake Baikal – World Heritage Site, World Heritage, 13 January 2007, It is also home to Buryat tribes who reside on the eastern side of Lake Baikal,WEB, M. Hammer, T. Karafet, DNA & the peopling of Siberia,weblink 1995, Smithsonian Institution, 9 August 2009, BOOK, The Other Side of Russia: A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East, S. Hudgins, 2003, Texas A&M University Press,weblink PDF, 9 August 2009, raising goats, camels, cattle, sheep, and horses, where the mean temperature varies from a winter minimum of {{convert|-19|°C|0}} to a summer maximum of {{convert|14|°C|0}}.JOURNAL, Fefelov, I., Tupitsyn, I., August 2004, Waders of the Selenga delta, Lake Baikal, eastern Siberia, Wader Study Group Bulletin, 104, 66–78,weblink 9 August 2009, The region to the east of Lake Baikal is referred to as Transbaikalia, and the loosely defined region around the lake is sometimes known as simply Baikalia.

Geography and hydrography

File:DEM Baikal lake.png|thumb|left|A digital elevation modeldigital elevation modelFile:Yeniseirivermap.png|thumb|left|The Yenisei RiverYenisei RiverLake Baikal is in a rift valley, created by the Baikal Rift Zone, where the Earth's crust is slowly pulling apart.WEB,weblink The Oddities of Lake Baikal, Alaska Science Forum, 7 January 2007, At {{convert|636|km|abbr=on}} long and {{convert|79|km|abbr=on}} wide, Lake Baikal has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake in Asia, at {{convert|31722|km2|abbr=on}}, and is the deepest lake in the world at {{convert|1642|m|abbr=on}}. The bottom of the lake is {{convert|1186.5|m|abbr=on}} below sea level, but below this lies some {{convert|7|km|abbr=on}} of sediment, placing the rift floor some {{convert|8|-|11|km|abbr=on}} below the surface, the deepest continental rift on Earth. In geological terms, the rift is young and active – it widens about 2 cm (0.8 in) per year. The fault zone is also seismically active; hot springs occur in the area and notable earthquakes happen every few years. The lake is divided into three basins: North, Central, and South, with depths about {{convert|900|m|abbr=on}}, {{convert|1600|m|abbr=on}}, and {{convert|1400|m|abbr=on}}, respectively. Fault-controlled accommodation zones rising to depths about {{convert|300|m|abbr=on}} separate the basins. The North and Central basins are separated by Academician Ridge, while the area around the Selenga Delta and the Buguldeika Saddle separates the Central and South basins. The lake drains into the Angara tributary of the Yenisei. Notable landforms include Cape Ryty on Baikal's northwest coast.Baikal's age is estimated at 25–30 million years, making it the most ancient lake in geological history. It is unique among large, high-latitude lakes, as its sediments have not been scoured by overriding continental ice sheets. Russian, U.S., and Japanese cooperative studies of deep-drilling core sediments in the 1990s provide a detailed record of climatic variation over the past 6.7 million years.Kravchinsky, V.A., M.A. Krainov, M.E. Evans, J.A. Peck, J.W. King, M.I. Kuzmin, H. Sakai, T. Kawai, and D. Williams. Magnetic record of Lake Baikal sediments: chronological and paleoclimatic implication for the last 6.7 Ma. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 195, 281–298, 2003.Kravchinsky, V.A., M.E. Evans, J.A. Peck, H. Sakai, M.A. Krainov, J.W. King, M.I. Kuzmin. A 640kyr geomagnetic and paleoclimatic record from Lake Baikal sediments. Geophysical Journal International, 170 (1), 101–116, {{doi|10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03411.x}}, 2007. Longer and deeper sediment cores are expected in the near future. Lake Baikal is the only confined freshwater lake in which direct and indirect evidence of gas hydrates exists.M.I. Kuzmin et al. (1998). First find of gas hydrates in sediments of Lake Baikal. Doklady Adademii Nauk, 362: 541–543 (in Russian).JOURNAL, M. Vanneste, M. De Batist, A. Golmshtok, A. Kremlev, W. Versteeg, 2001, Multi-frequency seismic study of gas hydrate-bearing sediments in Lake Baikal, Siberia, Marine Geology (journal), Marine Geology, 172, 1, 1–21, 10.1016/S0025-3227(00)00117-1, 2001MGeol.172....1V, JOURNAL, P. Van Rensbergen, M. De Batist, J. Klerkx, R. Hus, J. Poort, M. Vanneste, N. Granin, O. Khlystov, P. Krinitsky, 2002, Sublacustrine mud volcanoes and methane seeps caused by dissociation of gas hydrates in Lake Baikal, Geology (journal), Geology, 30, 7, 631–634, 10.1130/0091-7613(2002)0302.0.CO;2,weblink 2002Geo....30..631V, The lake is completely surrounded by mountains. The Baikal Mountains on the north shore, the Barguzin Range on the northeastern shore, and the taiga are technically protected as a national park. It contains 27 islands; the largest, Olkhon, is {{convert|72|km|abbr=on}} long and is the third-largest lake-bound island in the world. The lake is fed by as many as 330 inflowing rivers.NEWS,weblink Lake Baikal: the great blue eye of Siberia, CNN, 21 October 2006,weblink" title="">weblink 11 October 2006, The main ones draining directly into Baikal are the Selenga River, the Barguzin River, the Upper Angara River, the Turka River, the Sarma River, and the Snezhnaya River. It is drained through a single outlet, the Angara River.Olkhon Island and Lake Baikal.jpg|Cliffs on Olkhon IslandПобережье Байкала в Сухой.jpg|A sandy beach in the Kabansky District26 swiatoinos.jpg|Mountains on the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula, Zabaykalsky National ParkTurka ibaia bokaletik gertu.JPG|Turka River at its mouth before joining Lake Baikal

Water characteristics

(File:Baikal 1739.jpg|thumb|Lake Baikal's water is very clear)Baikal is one of the clearest lakes in the world. During the winter in open sections the water transparency can be as much as {{convert|30-40|m|ft|abbr=on|-1}}, but during the summer it is typically {{cvt|5–8|m|ft|round=5}}.Freshwater Ecoregions of the World (2008). Lake Baikal. Retrieved 16 July 2014. Baikal is rich in oxygen, even in deep sections, which separates it from distinctly stratified bodies of water such as Lake Tanganyika and the Black Sea.BOOK, Hutter, Yongqi, Chubarenko, 2011, Physics of Lakes: Foundation of the Mathematical and Physical Background, 1, 11, 978-3-642-15178-1, WEB, Unique body of water,weblink Black Sea Scene, 5 March 2018, In Lake Baikal, the water temperature varies significantly depending on location, depth, and time of the year. During the winter and spring, the surface freezes for about 4–5 months; from early January to early May–June (latest in the north), the lake surface is covered in ice.WEB, Ice Conditions,weblink, 8 June 2017, On average, the ice reaches a thickness of {{convert|0.5|to(-)|1.4|m|ft|abbr=on}},WEB, Baikal seal,weblink, 9 June 2017, but in some places with hummocks, it can be more than {{convert|2|m|ft|abbr=on}}. During this period, the temperature slowly increases with depth in the lake, being coldest near the ice-covered surface at around freezing, and reaching about {{convert|3.5-3.8|C|F|abbr=on}} at a depth of {{convert|200-250|m|ft|abbr=on}}.WEB, Gurulev, S.A., Temperature of Lake Baikal Water,weblink, 8 June 2017, After the surface ice breaks up, the surface water is slowly warmed up by the sun, and in May–June, the upper {{convert|300|m|ft|abbr=on}} or so becomes homothermic (same temperature throughout) at around {{convert|4|C|F|abbr=on}} because of water mixing. The sun continues to heat up the surface layer, and at the peak in August can reach up to about {{convert|16|C|F|abbr=on}} in the main sections and {{convert|20-24|C|F|abbr=on}} in shallow bays in the southern half of the lake.JOURNAL, Pomazkina, G., L. Kravtsova, E. Sorokovikova, Structure of epiphyton communities on Lake Baikal submerged macrophytes, 2012, Limnological Review, 12, 1, 19–27, 10.2478/v10194-011-0041-1, During this time, the pattern is inverted compared to the winter and spring, as the water temperature falls with increasing depth. As the autumn begins, the surface temperature falls again and a second homothermic period at around {{convert|4|C|F|abbr=on}} of the upper circa {{convert|300|m|ft|abbr=on}} occurs in October–November. In the deepest parts of the lake, from about {{convert|300|m|ft|abbr=on}}, the temperature is very stable at {{convert|3.1-3.4|C|F|abbr=on}} with only minor annual variations.The average surface temperature has risen by almost 1.5 Â°C (2.7 Â°F) in the last 50 years, resulting in a shorter period where the lake is covered by ice. At some locations, hydrothermal vents with water that is about {{convert|50|C|F|abbr=on}} have been found. These are mostly in deep water, but locally have also been found in relatively shallow water. They have very little effect on the lake's temperature because of its huge volume.Stormy weather on the lake is common, especially during the summer and fall, and can result in waves as high as {{convert|4.5|m|ft|abbr=on}}.Baikal-S1999276045323.png |Lake Baikal as seen from the OrbView-2 satelliteIce Melting on Lake Baikal - NASA Earth Observatory.jpg |Spring ice melt underway on Lake Baikal, on 4 May: Notice the ice-covered north, while much of the south already is ice-free.Circles in Thin Ice, Lake Baikal, Russia.jpg |Circle of thin ice, diameter of {{convert|4.4|km|1|abbr=on}} at the lake's southern tip, probably caused by convectionSelenga delta.jpg|Delta of the Selenga River, Baikal's main tributary

Fauna and flora

File:Baikal-seal 4747-pho.jpg|thumb|left|The Baikal sealBaikal sealLake Baikal is rich in biodiversity. It hosts more than 1,000 species of plants and 2,500 species of animals based on current knowledge, but the actual figures for both groups are believed to be significantly higher.Rivarola-Duartea; Otto; Jühling; Schreiber; Bedulina; Jakob; Gurkov; Axenov-Gribanov; Sahyoun; Lucassen; Hackermüller; Hoffmann; Sartoris; Pörtner; Timofeyev; Luckenbach; and Stadler (2014). A First Glimpse at the Genome of the Baikalian Amphipod Eulimnogammarus verrucosus. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 322(3): 177–189. More than 80% of the animals are endemic.


The watershed of Lake Baikal has numerous floral species represented. The marsh thistle (Cirsium palustre) is found here at the eastern limit of its geographic range.C. Michael Hogan. 2009. Marsh Thistle: Cirsium palustre,, ed. N. Strömberg {{webarchive|url= |date=13 December 2012 }}Submerged macrophytic vascular plants are mostly absent, except in some shallow bays along the shores of Lake Baikal.BOOK, Mackay, A., R. Flower, L. Granina, Lake Baikal, Shahgedanova, M., 2002, The Physical Geography of Northern Eurasia, Oxford University Press, 403–421, 978-0-19-823384-8, More than 85 species of submerged macrophytes have been recorded, including genera such as Ceratophyllum, Myriophyllum, Potamogeton, and Sparganium. The invasive species Elodea canadensis was introduced to the lake in the 1950s. Instead of vascular plants, aquatic flora is often dominated by several green algae species, notably Draparnaldioides, Tetraspora, and Ulothrix in water shallower than {{convert|20|m|ft|abbr=on|round=5}}; although Aegagrophila, Cladophora, and Draparnaldioides may occur deeper than {{convert|30|m|ft|abbr=on|round=5}}. Except for Ulothrix, there are endemic Baikal species in all these green algae genera. More than 400 diatom species, both benthic and planktonic, are found in the lake, and about half of these are endemic to Baikal; however, significant taxonomic uncertainties remain for this group.


The Baikal seal or nerpa (Pusa sibirica) is found throughout Lake Baikal.Peter Saundry. 2010. Baikal seal. Encyclopedia of Earth. Topic ed. C. Michael Hogan, Ed. in chief C. NCSE, Washington D.C. It is one of only three entirely freshwater seal populations in the world, the other two being subspecies of ringed seals.A wide range of land mammals can be found in the habitats around the lake, such as Eurasian brown bear, Eurasian wolf, red fox, sable, stoat, elk, Siberian red deer, reindeer, Siberian roe deer, Siberian musk deer, wild boar, red squirrel, Siberian chipmunk, marmot, lemming, and Alpine hare.WEB, Wildlife of Lake Baikal,weblink, 9 June 2017, Until the Early Middle Ages, the wisent (European bison) was present near the lake, which was the easternmost part of its range.Sipko P.T.. 2009. European bison in Russia – past, present and future (pdf). the European Bison Conservation Newsletter Vol 2 (2009). pp.148–159. the Institute of Problems Ecology and Evolution RAS. Retrieved on 31 March 2017


File:Chayki v Chivyrkuyskom zalive.JPG|thumb|Mongolian gullMongolian gullThere are 236 species of birds that inhabit Lake Baikal, 29 of which are waterfowl.WEB,weblink Животный мир Байкала. Озеро Байкал: экология. Озеро Байкал. Природа. Пресноводные водоемы, растительность, животный мир.,, en, 2018-06-30,


File:Thymallus baikalensis, Baikal-Museum, Listvyanka, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia - 20080405.jpg|Two species of graylinggraylingFewer than 65 native fish species occur in the lake basin, but more than half of these are endemic.FishBase: Species in Lake Baikal. Retrieved 6 April 2017. The families Abyssocottidae (deep-water sculpins), Comephoridae (golomyankas or Baikal oilfish), and Cottocomephoridae (Baikal sculpins) are entirely restricted to the lake basin.JOURNAL, 10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00376-7, Endemic diversification of the monophyletic cottoid fish species flock in Lake Baikal explored with mtDNA sequencing, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 27, 143–155, 2003, Kontula, Tytti, Kirilchik, Sergei V., Väinölä, Risto, All these are part of the Cottoidea and are typically less than {{convert|20|cm|in|abbr=on|0}} long. Of particular note are the two species of golomyanka (Comephorus baicalensis and C. dybowskii). These long-finned, translucent fish typically live in open water at depths of {{convert|100|-|500|m|ft|abbr=on}}, but occur both shallower and much deeper. Together with certain abyssocottid sculpins, they are the deepest living freshwater fish in the world, occurring to near the bottom of Lake Baikal.Hunt, D. M., et al. (1997). Molecular evolution of the cottoid fish endemic to Lake Baikal deduced from nuclear DNA evidence. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 8(3): 415–22. The golomyankas are the primary prey of the Baikal seal and represent the largest fish biomass in the lake.Pastukhov, V.D: Lake Baikal Seals – NERPA. Retrieved 19 July 2014. Beyond members of Cottoidea, there are few endemic fish species in the lake basin.File:Omul Fish.jpg|The thumbThe most important local species for fisheries is the omul (Coregonus migratorius), an endemic whitefish. It is caught, smoked, and then sold widely in markets around the lake. Also, a second endemic whitefish inhabits the lake, C. baicalensis.{{fishbase|Coregonus|baicalensis|year=2014}} The Baikal black grayling (Thymallus baicalensis), Baikal white grayling (T. brevipinnis), and Baikal sturgeon (Acipenser baerii baicalensis) are other important species with commercial value. They are also endemic to the Lake Baikal Baikal grayling. Retrieved 19 July Baikal sturgeon. Retrieved 19 July 2014.


The lake hosts a rich endemic fauna of invertebrates. The copepod Epischura baikalensis is endemic to Lake Baikal and the dominating zooplankton species there, making up 80 to 90% of total biomass.WEB,weblink Зоопланктон в экосистеме озера Байкал / О Байкале.ру — Байкал. Научно и популярно,, 2 January 2012, It is estimated that the epischurans filter as much as a thousand cubic kilometers of water a year, or the lake's entire volume every twenty-three years.Sacred Sea: A Journey to Lake BaikalAmong the most diverse invertebrate groups are the amphipod and ostracod crustaceans, freshwater snails, annelid worms and turbellarian worms:

Amphipod and ostracod crustaceans

File:Baikal-Flohkrebs.jpg|thumb|A "giant" Brachyuropus reicherti (Acanthogammaridae) amphipod caught during ice fishingice fishingMore than 350 species and subspecies of amphipods are endemic to the lake. They are exceptionally diverse in ecology and appearance, ranging from the pelagic Macrohectopus to the relatively large deep-water Abyssogammarus and Garjajewia, the tiny herbivorous Micruropus, and the parasitic Pachyschesis (parasitic on other amphipods).Sherbakov; Kamaltynov; Ogarkov; and Verheyen (1998). Patterns of Evolutionary Change in Baikalian Gammarids Inferred from DNA Sequences (Crustacea, Amphipoda). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 10(2): 160–167 The "gigantism" of some Baikal amphipods, which has been compared to that seen in Antarctic amphipods, has been linked to the high level of dissolved oxygen in the lake.BBC News (13 May 1999). Oxygen boosts polar giants. Retrieved 17 July 2014. Among the "giants" are several species of spiny Acanthogammarus and Brachyuropus (Acanthogammaridae) found at both shallow and deep depths.Daneliya, M.E.; Kamaltynov, R.M.; and Väinölä, R. (2011). Phylogeography and systematics of Acanthogammarus s. str., giant amphipod crustaceans from Lake Baikal. Zoologica Scripta 40(6): 623–637. These conspicuous and common amphipods are essentially carnivores (will also take detritus), and can reach a body length up to {{convert|7|cm|in|abbr=on}}.Similar to another ancient lake, Tanganyika, Baikal is a center for ostracod diversity. About 90% of the Lake Baikal ostracods are endemic,Karanovic, I.; and T.Y. Sitnikova (2017). Morphological and molecular diversity of Lake Baikal candonid ostracods, with description of a new genus. Zookeys. 2017(684): 19–56. {{doi|10.3897/zookeys.684.13249}} meaning that there are {{circa}} 200 endemic species.Martens; Schön; Meisch; and Horne (2008). Global diversity of ostracods (Ostracoda, Crustacea) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595: 185–193. {{doi|10.1007/s10750-007-9245-4}} This makes it the second-most diverse group of crustacean in the lake, after the amphipods. The vast majority of the Baikal ostracods belong in the families Candonidae (more than 100 described species) and Cytherideidae (about 50 described species),Karanovic, I.; and T.Y. Sitnikova (2017). Phylogenetic position and age of Lake Baikal candonids (Crustacea, Ostracoda) inferred from multigene sequence analyzes and molecular dating. Ecol Evol. 7(17): 7091–7103. {{doi|10.1002/ece3.3159}} but genetic studies indicate that the true diversity in at least the latter family has been heavily underestimated.Schön; Pieri; Sherbakov; and Martens (2017). Cryptic diversity and speciation in endemic Cytherissa (Ostracoda, Crustacea) from Lake Baikal. Hydrobiologia 800(1): 61–79. {{doi|10.1007/s10750-017-3259-3}} The morphology of the Baikal ostracods is highly diverse.

Snails and bivalves

{{As of|2006}}, almost 150 freshwater snails are known from Lake Baikal, including 117 endemic species from the subfamilies Baicaliinae (part of the Amnicolidae) and Benedictiinae (part of the Lithoglyphidae), and the families Planorbidae and Valvatidae.JOURNAL, Sitnikova, T.Y., Endemic gastropod distribution in Baikal, Hydrobiologia, 2006, 568, S1, 207–211, 10.1007/s10750-006-0313-y, All endemics have been recorded between {{convert|20|and|30|m|ft|abbr=on}}, but the majority mainly live at shallower depths. About 30 freshwater snail species can be seen deeper than {{convert|100|m|ft|abbr=on}}, which represents the approximate limit of the sunlight zone, but only 10 are truly deepwater species. In general, Baikal snails are thin-shelled and small. Two of the most common species are Benedictia baicalensis and Megalovalvata Gastropoda. Retrieved 17 July 2014. Bivalve diversity is lower with more than 30 species; about half of these, all in the families Euglesidae, Pisidiidae, and Sphaeriidae, are endemic (the only other family in the lake is the Unionidae with a single nonendemic species).JOURNAL, Slugina, Z.V., Endemic Bivalvia in ancient lakes, Hydrobiologia, 2006, 568, S1, 213–217, 10.1007/s10750-006-0312-z, The endemic bivalves are mainly found in shallows, with few species from deep water.Slugina; Starobogatov; and Korniushin (1994). Bivalves (Bivalvia) of Lake Baikal. Ruthenica 4(2): 111-146.

Aquatic worms

With almost 200 described species, including more than 160 endemics, the center of diversity for aquatic freshwater oligochaetes is Lake Baikal.Segers, H.; and Martens, K; editors (2005). The Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems. pp. 43–44. Developments in Hydrobiology. Aquatic Biodiversity. {{ISBN|1-4020-3745-7}} A smaller number of other freshwater annelids is known: 30 species of leeches (Hirudinea),Kaygorodova, I.A.; and N.M. Pronin (2013). New Records of Lake Baikal Leech Fauna: Species Diversity and Spatial Distribution in Chivyrkuy Gulf. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013(2013): 206590. {{doi|10.1155/2013/206590}} and 4 polychaetes. Several hundred species of nematodes are known from the lake, but a large percentage of these are undescribed.More than 140 endemic flatworm (Plathelminthes) species are in Lake Baikal, where they occur on a wide range of bottom Flatworms (Plathelminthes). Retrieved 7 June 2017. Most of the flatworms are predatory, and some are relatively brightly marked. They are often very abundant in shallow waters, where they are typically less than {{convert|2|cm|in|abbr=on|0}} long, but in deeper parts of the lake, the largest, Baikaloplana valida, can reach up to {{convert|30|cm|ft|abbr=on|0}} when outstretched.


File:Lubomirskia-baicalensis.jpg|thumb|Museum specimen of the branching sponge Lubomirskia baicalensisLubomirskia baicalensisAt least 18 species of sponges occur in the lake,Kaluzhnaya; Belikov; Schröder; Rothenberger; Zapf; Kaandorp; Borejko; Müller; and Müller (2005). Dynamics of skeleton formation in the Lake Baikal sponge Lubomirskia baicalensis. Part I. Biological and biochemical studies. Naturwissenschaften 92: 128–133. including 14 species from the endemic family Lubomirskiidae (the remaining are from the nonendemic family Spongillidae).Paradina; Kulikova; Suturin; and Saibatalova (2003). The Distribution of Chemical Elements in Sponges of the Family Lubomirskiidae in Lake Baikal. International Symposium – Speciation in Ancient Lakes, SIAL III – Irkutsk 2002. Berliner Paläobiologische Abhandlungen 4: 151–157. In the nearshore regions of Baikal, the largest benthic biomass is sponges. Lubomirskia baicalensis, Baikalospongia bacillifera, and B. intermedia are unusually large for freshwater sponges and can reach {{convert|1|m|ft|abbr=on}} or more.Belikov; Kaluzhnaya; Schröder; Müller; and Müller (2007). Lake Baikal endemic sponge Lubomirskia baikalensis: structure and organization of the gene family of silicatein and its role in morphogenesis. Porifera Research: Biodiversity, Innovation and Sustainability, pp. 179–188. These three are also the most common sponges in the lake. While the Baikalospongia species typically have encrusting or carpet-like structures, L. baikalensis often has branching structures and in areas where common may form underwater "forests".BOOK, Kozhov, M., 1963, Lake Baikal and Its Life, Monographiae Biologicae, 11, 63–67, 978-94-015-7388-7, Most sponges in the lake are typically green when alive because of symbiotic chlorophytes (zoochlorella), but can also be brownish or yellowish.Müller; and Grachev, eds. (2009). Biosilica in Evolution, Morphogenesis, and Nanobiotechnology: Case Study Lake Baikal, pp. 81–110. Springer Publishing. {{ISBN|978-3-540-88551-1}}.


The Baikal area, sometimes known as Baikalia, has a long history of human habitation. An early known tribe in the area was the Kurykans.BOOK, Lincoln, W.B., The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians, 246, 2007, Cornell University Press, 978-0-8014-8922-8, Located in the former northern territory of the Xiongnu confederation, Lake Baikal is one site of the Han–Xiongnu War, where the armies of the Han dynasty pursued and defeated the Xiongnu forces from the second century BC to the first century AD. They recorded that the lake was a "huge sea" (hanhai) and designated it the North Sea (Běihǎi) of the semimythical Four Seas.BOOK, Chun-shu, Chang, The Rise of the Chinese Empire: Nation, State, and Imperialism in Early China, ca. 1600 B.C.-A.D. 8, 2007, University of Michigan Press, 978-0-472-11533-4, 264, The Kurykans, a Siberian tribe who inhabited the area in the sixth century, gave it a name that translates to "much water". Later on, it was called "natural lake" (Baygal nuur) by the Buryats and "rich lake" (Bay göl) by the Yakuts.BOOK, W. Bruce, Lincoln, The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians, 2007, Cornell University Press, 978-0-8014-8922-8, 246, Little was known to Europeans about the lake until Russia expanded into the area in the 17th century. The first Russian explorer to reach Lake Baikal was Kurbat Ivanov in 1643.WEB,weblink Research of the Baikal,, 18 January 2006, 2012-01-02, Russian expansion into the Buryat area around Lake BaikalGeorge V. Lantzeff and Richard A. Price, 'Eastward to Empire',1973 in 1628–58 was part of the Russian conquest of Siberia. It was done first by following the Angara River upstream from Yeniseysk (founded 1619) and later by moving south from the Lena River. Russians first heard of the Buryats in 1609 at Tomsk. According to folktales related a century after the fact, in 1623, Demid Pyanda, who may have been the first Russian to reach the Lena, crossed from the upper Lena to the Angara and arrived at Yeniseysk.WEB,weblink ru:Открытие Русскими Средней И Восточной Сибири,, 2012-01-02, Russian, Vikhor Savin (1624) and Maksim Perfilyev (1626 and 1627–28) explored Tungus country on the lower Angara. To the west, Krasnoyarsk on the upper Yenisei was founded in 1627. A number of ill-documented expeditions explored eastward from Krasnoyarsk. In 1628, Pyotr Beketov first encountered a group of Buryats and collected yasak (tribute) from them at the future site of Bratsk. In 1629, Yakov Khripunov set off from Tomsk to find a rumored silver mine. His men soon began plundering both Russians and natives. They were joined by another band of rioters from Krasnoyarsk, but left the Buryat country when they ran short of food. This made it difficult for other Russians to enter the area. In 1631, Maksim Perfilyev built an ostrog at Bratsk. The pacification was moderately successful, but in 1634, Bratsk was destroyed and its garrison killed. In 1635, Bratsk was restored by a punitive expedition under Radukovskii. In 1638, it was besieged unsuccessfully.{{citation needed|date=August 2015}}In 1638, Perfilyev crossed from the Angara over the Ilim portage to the Lena River and went downstream as far as Olyokminsk. Returning, he sailed up the Vitim River into the area east of Lake Baikal (1640) where he heard reports of the Amur country. In 1641, Verkholensk was founded on the upper Lena. In 1643, Kurbat Ivanov went further up the Lena and became the first Russian to see Lake Baikal and Olkhon Island. Half his party under Skorokhodov remained on the lake, reached the Upper Angara at its northern tip, and wintered on the Barguzin River on the northeast side.{{citation needed|date=August 2015}}In 1644, Ivan Pokhabov went up the Angara to Baikal, becoming perhaps the first Russian to use this route, which is difficult because of the rapids. He crossed the lake and explored the lower Selenge River. About 1647, he repeated the trip, obtained guides, and visited a 'Tsetsen Khan' near Ulan Bator. In 1648, Ivan Galkin built an ostrog on the Barguzin River which became a center for eastward expansion. In 1652, Vasily Kolesnikov reported from Barguzin that one could reach the Amur country by following the Selenga, Uda, and Khilok Rivers to the future sites of Chita and Nerchinsk. In 1653, Pyotr Beketov took Kolesnikov's route to Lake Irgen west of Chita, and that winter his man Urasov founded Nerchinsk. Next spring, he tried to occupy Nerchensk, but was forced by his men to join Stephanov on the Amur. Nerchinsk was destroyed by the local Tungus, but restored in 1658.{{citation needed|date=August 2015}}The Trans-Siberian Railway was built between 1896 and 1902. Construction of the scenic railway around the southwestern end of Lake Baikal required 200 bridges and 33 tunnels. Until its completion, a train ferry transported railcars across the lake from Port Baikal to Mysovaya for a number of years. The lake became the site of the minor engagement between the Czechoslovak legion and the Red Army in 1918. At times during winter freezes, the lake could be crossed on foot, though at risk of frostbite and deadly hypothermia from the cold wind moving unobstructed across flat expanses of ice. In the winter of 1920, the Great Siberian Ice March occurred, when the retreating White Russian Army crossed frozen Lake Baikal. The wind on the exposed lake was so cold, many people died, freezing in place until spring thaw. Beginning in 1956, the impounding of the Irkutsk Dam on the Angara River raised the level of the lake by {{Convert|1.4|m|ft|abbr=on}}.WEB, Irkutsk Hydroelectric Power Station History,weblink Irkutskenergo, 2010-09-07, As the railway was built, a large hydrogeographical expedition headed by F.K. Drizhenko produced the first detailed contour map of the lake bed.File:Khagdaev 02.jpg|Buryat shaman on Olkhon IslandFile:Baikal sea.gif|Russian map circa 1700, Baikal (not to scale) is at topFile:КБЖД 17.jpg|Steam locomotive on the Circum-Baikal RailroadFile:Ledokol Angara.jpg|{{ill|Angara (icebreaker)|lt=Angara|ru|Ангара (ледокол)}} was launched in 1900 and is one of the oldest surviving icebreakers


(File:Baikal lake Crack in the ice.jpg|thumb|Ice cover survey on the lake)Several organizations are carrying out natural research projects on Lake Baikal. Most of them are governmental or associated with governmental organizations. The Baikalian Research Centre is an independent research organization carrying out environmental educational and research projects at Lake Baikal.Байкальский исследовательский центр (Baikal Research Centre; in Russian). www.baikal-research.orgIn July 2008, Russia sent two small submersibles, Mir-1 and Mir-2, to descend {{convert|1592|m|abbr=on}} to the bottom of Lake Baikal to conduct geological and biological tests on its unique ecosystem. Although originally reported as being successful, they did not set a world record for the deepest freshwater dive, reaching a depth of only {{convert|1580|m|ft|abbr=on}}.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Russians in landmark Baikal dive, 29 July 2008, 4 April 2010, That record is currently held by Anatoly Sagalevich, at {{convert|1637|m|ft|abbr=on}} (also in Lake Baikal aboard a Pisces submersible in 1990).Gallant, Jeffrey (29 July 2008) WEB,weblink Russian submersible dives in Lake Baikal do not establish new freshwater depth record, 2009-06-04, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 22 September 2008, . Russian scientist and federal politician Artur Chilingarov, the leader of the mission, took part in the Mir divesNEWS, Submarines to plumb deepest lake, 19 July 2008,weblink PA News, as did Russian leader Vladimir Putin.NEWS, A Rugged Guys' heart to heart, Barry, Ellen, 23 May 2011, International Herald Tribune, Since 1993, neutrino research has been conducted at the Baikal Deep Underwater Neutrino Telescope (BDUNT). The Baikal Neutrino Telescope NT-200 is being deployed in Lake Baikal, {{convert|3.6|km|abbr=on}} from shore at a depth of {{convert|1.1|km|abbr=on}}. It consists of 192 optical modules.WEB,weblink Baikal Lake Neutrino Telescope, Baikalweb, 6 January 2005, 30 July 2008, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 31 August 2010,


File:Fishermen in the Katun, Baikal.jpg|thumb|Baikal fishermen fish for 15 commercially used species. The omulomulThe lake, nicknamed "the Pearl of Siberia", drew investors from the tourist industry as energy revenues sparked an economic boom.NEWS, Tom Esslemont, 7 September 2007,weblink "Pearl of Siberia" draws investors, BBC News, 4 December 2007, Viktor Grigorov's Grand Baikal in Irkutsk is one of the investors, who planned to build three hotels, creating 570 jobs. In 2007, the Russian government declared the Baikal region a special economic zone. A popular resort in Listvyanka is home to the seven-story Hotel Mayak. At the northern part of the lake, Baikalplan (a German NGO) built together with Russians in 2009 the Frolikha Adventure Coastline Track, a {{convert|100|km|abbr=on|adj=on}}-long long-distance trail as example for a sustainable development of the region. Baikal was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. Rosatom plans to build a laboratory near Baikal, in conjunction with an international uranium plant and to invest $2.5 billion in the region and create 2,000 jobs in the city of Angarsk.Lake Baikal is a popular destination among tourists from all over the world. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, in 2013, 79,179 foreign tourists visited Irkutsk and Lake Baikal; in 2014, 146,937 visitors. The most popular places to stay by the lake are Listvyanka village, Olkhon Island, Kotelnikovsky cape, Baykalskiy Priboi, resort Khakusy and Turka village. The popularity of Lake Baikal is growing from year to year, but there is no developed infrastructure in the area. For the quality of service and comfort from the visitor's point of view, Lake Baikal still has a long way to go.The ice road to Olkhon Island is the only legal ice road on Lake Baikal. The route is prepared by specialists every year and it opens when the ice conditions allow it. In 2015, the ice road to Olkhon was open from 17 February to 23 March. The thickness of the ice on the road is about {{convert|60|cm|in|abbr=on}}, maximum capacity allowed – {{convert|10|t|abbr=on}}; it is open to the public from 9 am to 6 pm. The road through the lake is {{convert|12|km|abbr=on}} long and it goes from the village Kurkut on the mainland, to Irkutskaya Guba on Olkhon Island.WEB,weblink Driving on frozen Lake Baikal in the winter, Daniil, Timin, Russian blogger,


(File:Лёд_Байкала.jpg|thumb|Crevasses of Baikal ice)Baikal has a number of different tourist activities, depending on season. Generally Baikal has two top tourist seasons. The first season is ice season, which starts usually in mid-January and lasts till mid-April.WEB,weblink Lake Baikal Travel Guide - Top Ten Attractions on Lake Baikal, 23 November 2017, During this season ice depth increases up to 140 centimeters, that allows quite safe vehicle driving on the ice cover (except heavy vehicles, such as tourist buses, that do not take this risk). This allows access to the figures of ice that are formed at rocky banks of Olkhon Island, including Cape Hoboy, the Three Brothers rock, and caves to the North of Khuzhir. It also provides access to small islands like Ogoy Island and Zamogoy.The ice itself has a transparency of one meter depth, having different patterns of crevasses, bubbles, and sounds.{{citation needed|date=March 2019}} That is why this season is popular for hiking, ice-walking, ice-skating, and bicycle-riding.{{citation needed|date=March 2019}} An ice route around Olkhon is around 200 km. Some tourists may spot a Baikal seal along the route. Local entrepreneurs offer overnight in Yurt on ice. Also this season attracts fans of ice fishing. This activity is most popular on Buryatia side of Baikal (Ust-Barguzin). Non-fishermen may try fresh Baikal fresh fish on local markets in villages (Listvyanka, Ust-Barguzin).The ice season ends in mid-April. Owing to increasing temperatures ice starts to melt and becomes shallow and fragile, especially in places with strong under-ice flows. Vehicles and people start to fall under ice. This leads to many casualties every year.{{citation needed|date=March 2019}}Second tourist season is summer, which lets tourists dive deeper into virgin Baikal nature. Hiking trails become openweblink many of them cross two mountain ranges: Baikal Range on the western side and Barguzin Range on the eastern side of Baikal. The most popular trail starts in Listvyanka and goes along the Baikal coast to Bolshoye Goloustnoye. The total length of the route is 55 km, but the most part of tourists usually take only a part of it — a section of 25 km to Bolshie Koty. It has a lower difficulty level and could be passed by people without special skills and gear.WEB,weblink 2019's Guide to Lake Baikal by Locals: Landmarks, Prices, and Accommodations – Irkutsk Baikal, Kuchenova, Nastya, en-US, 2019-05-11, Small tourist vessels operate in the area, availing bird-watching, animal watching (especially Baikal seal), and fishing. Water in the lake stays extremely cold in most places (does not exceed 10 C most of the year), but in few gulfs like Chivirkuy it can be comfortable for swimming.WEB,weblink Самый теплый залив на Байкале - Чивыркуйский залив !, 17 December 2017, (File:Great-baikal-trail.jpg|thumb|Great Baikal Trail goes from Litvyanka to Bolshoe Goloustnoye along Lake Baikal coast)Olkhon's most-populated village Khuzhir is an ecotourist destination.{{citation needed|date=March 2019}} Baikal has always been popular in Russia and CIS-countries, but for the last few years{{when|date=March 2019}} Baikal has seen an influx of visitors from China and Europe.WEB,weblink Chinese tourists eager to visit Baikal, 18 March 2015,

Environmental concerns

Baykalsk Pulp and Paper Mill

(File:Bajkal'sk paper.jpg|thumb|left|Baykalsk Pulp and Paper Mill in 2008, 5 years before its closure)The Baykalsk Pulp and Paper Mill was constructed in 1966, directly on the shoreline of Lake Baikal. The plant bleached paper using chlorine and discharged waste directly into Lake Baikal. The decision to construct the plant on the Lake Baikal resulted in strong protests from Soviet scientists; according to them, the ultra-pure water of the lake was a significant resource and should have been used for innovative chemical production (for instance, the production of high-quality viscose for the aeronautics and space industries). The Soviet scientists felt that it was irrational to change Lake Baikal's water quality by beginning paper production on the shore. It was their position that it was also necessary to preserve endemic species of local biota, and to maintain the area around Lake Baikal as a recreation zone.Sobisevich A. V., Snytko V. A. Some aspects of nature protection in the scientific heritage of academician Innokentiy Gerasimov Acta Geographica Silesiana. 2018. Vol. 29, # 1. P. 55–60. However, the objections of the Soviet scientists faced opposition from the industrial lobby and only after decades of protest, the plant was closed in November 2008 due to unprofitability.NEWS, Tom Parfitt in Moscow,, Russia Water Pollution, The Guardian, 12 November 2008, 2 January 2012, London, WEB,weblink Sacred Land Film Project, Lake Baikal,, 2 January 2012, In March 2009, the plant owner announced the paper mill would never reopen.WEB,weblink Economic crisis saves Lake Baikal from pollution,, 2 January 2012, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 18 March 2009, However, on 4 January 2010, production was resumed. Later that year on 13 January 2010, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin introduced changes in the legislation legalising the operation of the plant; this action brought about a wave of protests from ecologists and local residents.NEWS,weblink Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent, Clifford J. Levy, International Herald Tribune, 11 September 2010, 10 December 2011, These changes were based on the determination President Putin made through a visual verification of Lake Baikal's condition from a miniature submarine, "I could see with my own eyes – and scientists can confirm – Baikal is in good condition and there is practically no pollution".WEB,weblink Russians Debate Fate Of Lake: Jobs Or Environment?,, 10 May 2010, 2 January 2012, Despite this, in September 2013, the mill underwent a final bankruptcy, with the last 800 workers slated to lose their jobs by 28 December 2013.Tide of discontent sweeps through Russia's struggling 'rust belt' – NBC News {{webarchive|url= |date=15 December 2013 }}. (30 November 2013). Retrieved on 15 May 2014. On the day the plant was to close, 28 December 2013, the Russian government announced plans to build the Russian Nature Reserve's Expo Center in place of the closed paper mill.WEB,weblink Байкальский ЦБК остановил производство, 16 September 2013,

Planned East Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline

File:Lakebaikalwinter.jpg|thumb|The lake in the winter, as seen from the tourist resort of (Listvyanka, Irkutsky District, Irkutsk Oblast|Listvyanka]]: The ice is thick enough to support pedestrians and snowmobiles.)Russian oil pipelines state company TransneftWEB,weblink Transneft, Transneft, 21 October 2006,weblink" title="">weblink 4 October 2006, was planning to build a trunk pipeline that would have come within {{convert|800|m|ft|abbr=on}} of the lake shore in a zone of substantial seismic activity. Environmental activists in Russia,WEB,weblink Baikal Environmental Wave, 21 October 2006,weblink" title="">weblink 25 August 2006, Greenpeace, Baikal pipeline oppositionWEB,weblink Baikal pipeline, 21 October 2006, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 23 July 2011, and local citizensWEB
, The Right to Know: Irkutsk Citizens Want to be Consulted
, 7 January 2007
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 11 July 2007
, yes
, were strongly opposed to these plans, due to the possibility of an accidental oil spill that might cause significant damage to the environment. According to the Transneft's president, numerous meetings with citizens near the lake were held in towns along the route, especially in Irkutsk.WEB,weblink Тема: (ENWL) Власти Иркутской обл. выступили против прокладки нефтепровода к Тихому океану, 3 August 2007, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 28 September 2007, Transneft agreed to alter its plans when Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the company to consider an alternative route {{convert|40|km|mi|sp=us}} to the north to avoid such ecological risks.NEWS, 26 April 2006,weblink Putin orders oil pipeline shifted, BBC News, 21 October 2006, Transneft has since decided to move the pipeline away from Lake Baikal, so that it will not pass through any federal or republic natural reserves.WEB,weblink Transneft charged with Siberia-Pacific pipeline construction,, 21 October 2006, HTTP://WWW.TRANSNEFT.RU/PRESS/DEFAULT.ASP?LANG=EN&ATYPE=9&ID=11661>TITLE=NEW ROUTEACCESSDATE=21 OCTOBER 2006 ARCHIVEDATE = 4 OCTOBER 2006, Work began on the pipeline two days after President Putin agreed to changing the route away from Lake Baikal.28 APRIL 2006>URL=HTTP://NEWS.BBC.CO.UK/2/HI/BUSINESS/4954554.STMWORK=BBC NEWS, 4 December 2007,

Proposed uranium enrichment centre

In 2006, the Russian government announced plans to build the world's first international uranium enrichment center at an existing nuclear facility in Angarsk, a city on the river Angara some {{convert|95|km|abbr=on}} downstream from the lake's shores. Critics and environmentalists argued it would be a disaster for the region and are urging the government to reconsider.WEB,weblink Saving the Sacred Sea: Russian nuclear plant threatens ancient lake,, 2 January 2012, 2 May 2008, After enrichment, only 10% of the uranium-derived radioactive material would be exported to international customers, leaving 90% near the Lake Baikal region for storage. Uranium tailings contain radioactive and toxic materials, which if improperly stored, are potentially dangerous to humans and can contaminate rivers and lakes.An enrichment center was constructed in the 2010s.WEB,weblink The International Uranium Enrichment Center {{!, JSC IUEC||access-date=2018-06-19}}

Chinese owned bottled water plant

Chinese owned AquaSib has been purchasing land along the lake and started building a bottling plant and pipeline in the town of Kultuk. The goal was to export 190 million liters of water to China even though the lake had been experiencing historically low water levels. This spurred protests by the local population that the lake would be drained of its water, at which point the local government halted the plans pending analysis.WEB,weblink Siberian Authorities Halt Construction of Lake Baikal Bottling Plant After Backlash, 15 March 2019,

Other pollution sources

According to The Moscow Times and Vice, an increasing number of an invasive species of algae thrives in the lake from hundreds of tons of liquid waste, including fuel and excrement, regularly disposed into the lake by tourist sites, and up to 25,000 tons of liquid waste are disposed of every year by local ships.WEB,weblink StephenMBland, StephenMBland, Russia's Baikal, Biggest Lake in the World, 'Becoming a Swamp'. 8 September 2014 19:35. The Moscow Times.

Historical traditions

(File:Letts-Popular-Atlas-1883-Russia-in-Asia-Chinese-Empire-etc.jpg|thumb|An 1883 British map using the More Baikal (Baikal Sea) designation, rather than the conventional Ozero Baikal (Lake Baikal)) The first European to reach the lake is said to have been Kurbat Ivanov in 1643.Raymond H. Fisher, The Voyage of Semon Dezhnev, The Haklyut Society, 1981, p. 246 {{ISBN|0904180123}}In the past, the Baikal was referred to by many Russians as the "Baikal Sea" (, More Baikal), rather than merely "Lake Baikal" (, Ozero Baikal).WILLIAM >LAST=TOOKEPUBLISHER=PRINTED BY A. STRAHAN, FOR T. N. LONGMAN AND O. REES, 1800, View of the Russian empire during the reign of Catharine the Second, and to the close of the eighteenth centuryweblink>page=203, This usage is attested already in the Life of Protopope Avvakum (1621–1682),"On the Baikal Sea I was in a shipwreck again" (На Байкалове море паки тонул), in the Life of Protopope Avvakum, Written by Himself ((:ru:s:Житие протопопа Аввакума|Житие протопопа Аввакума, им самим написанное)) and on the late-17th-century maps by Semyon Remezov.BOOK, L. Bagrov, Imago mundi, International Society for the History of Cartographyyear=1964url=weblink 115, It is also attested in the famous song, now passed into the tradition, that opens with the words Славное море, священный Байкал (Glorious sea, [the] sacred Bajkal).To this day, the strait between the western shore of the Lake and the Olkhon Island is called Maloye More (Малое Море), i.e. "the Little Sea".Lake Baikal is nicknamed "Older sister of Sister Lakes (Lake Khövsgöl and Lake Baikal)".Lake Baikal: Siberia's Great Lake {{ISBN|978-1-84162-294-1}} p. 4According to 19th-century traveler T. W. Atkinson, locals in the Lake Baikal Region had the tradition that Christ visited the area:The people have a tradition in connection with this region which they implicitly believe. They say "that Christ visited this part of Asia and ascended this summit, whence he looked down on all the region around. After blessing the country to the northward, he turned towards the south, and looking across the Baikal, he waved his hand, exclaiming 'Beyond this there is nothing.'" Thus they account for the sterility of Daouria, where it is said "no corn will grow."BOOK,weblink Travels in the Regions of the Upper and Lower Amoor, 385, T. W. Atkinson, 1861, Hurst and Blackett, Lake Baikal has been celebrated in several Russian folk songs. Two of these songs are well known in Russia and its neighboring countries, such as Japan. The latter song was a secondary theme song for the Soviet Union's second color film, Ballad of Siberia (1947; in ).{{Clear}}

Protests against Chinese investments at Lake Baikal

Chinese investments to develop the new Silk Road have triggered protests in Russia. After Chinese investors presented plans to pump water from Lake Baikal and send it to China, an anti-Chinese-investor attitude has emerged in Siberia. Many people in Siberia complain that the Chinese build hotels, but the jobs go to Chinese people rather than Russians. Russian guest house and hotel operators complain that Chinese investors do not involve them and take tourism business away from the local people. Especially great concerns arise because of environmental damage. The local authorities have already stopped numerous projects by Chinese investors in response to the protests.WEB,weblink Fuelled by China fears, Russians protest Baikal bottling plant,, en-us, 2019-05-06, WEB,weblink Russland: Angst vor China – Weltspiegel – ARD {{!, Das Erste||language=de|access-date=2019-05-06}}

See also




  • Detlev Henschel: Kayak Adventure in Siberia: The first solo circumnavigation of Lake Baikal. Amazon {{ISBN|978-3-7375-6102-0}}.
  • Colin Thubron In Siberia,weblink
  • Leonid Borodin: Year Of Miracle And Grief, Quartet Books, 1988.

External links

{{Sister project links|voy=Lake Baikal}} {{World Heritage Sites in Russia|state=uncollapsed}}{{Authority control}}

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