By Malvika Kashyap
July 5, 2022
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The 3.15 million hectares Lake Baikal in southeast Siberia is the oldest (25 million years old) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world.
20% of the world's total freshwater reserves are found there. Known as "Russia's Galapagos," ___________
Because of its antiquity and seclusion, it has one of the most diverse and strange freshwater faunas in the world, which is extremely valuable to evolutionary study.
Several of the mountains that surround Baikal climb more than 6,600 feet (2,000 metres) above the lake's surface. Baikal is located in a deep structural valley.
The geological strata beneath the lake may reach a thickness of 20,000 feet (6,100 metres). Hot mineral springs are created nearby by cracks in the crust of the Earth.
The weather on Baikal is significantly milder than that of the area around it. August air temperatures average 52 °F (11 °C), whereas winter air temperatures are typically 6 °F (21 °C).
Between 1,500 and 1,800 animal species can be found at various depths, while hundreds of plant species can be found on the surface or quite close to it.
Mining (mica and marble), the production of cellulose and paper, shipbuilding, fishery, and the harvesting of lumber are all industries found along Baikal's beaches.
The Angara River is the only outflow from Lake Baikal, which is fed by more than 300 streams & rivers. It discharges over 60 cubic kms (15.8 trillion gallons) of water into the Yenisei River.
Because of its unique biodiversity and significance to evolutionary science, Lake Baikal is frequently referred to as the "Galapagos of Russia," according to the UNESCO World Heritage Commission.
Lake Baikal has faced a growing number of environmental problems as Russia and Mongolia have become more industrialised and as tourism has grown.
In addition to being the biggest, deepest, and oldest lake in the world, Lake Baikal is home to some 2,000 rare animal species that are only found there.
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