Baikal is a lake of tectonic origin. It is located in Eastern Siberia. Baikal is the pearl of the planet, the deepest lake in the world and the largest natural reservoir of fresh water. The area around the reservoir is characterized by an extreme variety of flora and fauna. The Baikal area is 31.7 thousand square kilometers, and the largest depth is 1642 meters. Russians came to the shore of the lake in the XVII-XVIII centuries, the honor of the discovery belongs to the Cossack Kurbat Ivanov.
Today Baikal is not just a reservoir, but also a place for ongoing research. The history of the lake is surrounded by numerous myths, and even information about it is often also distorted. It is painfully far away this place is from large cities. The journey to Baikal becomes a real exotic, but it justifies itself. Let’s find out more about the lake, debunking the main myths about it.
Baikal is the largest lake in the world.
By area, the lake is only the seventh in the world. But thanks to its tectonic origin, Baikal is the deepest in Russia and the world. And by the volume of water the lake is not the largest, only the second. The leader, both in area and in volume, is the Caspian Sea. At the same time, the water there is salty. So Baikal is the largest freshwater reservoir in terms of volume.
Scuba divers can not dive into Lake Baikal.
There is a myth that the waters of the lake are so cold that there is nothing to do with scuba divers. In fact, there are brave men. To travel deeper into the waters of Lake Baikal, some precautions must be followed. The wetsuit should be dry, under it it is necessary to put on thermal underwear. Also, divers can not use compensators.
At the bottom of the lake rests the same name ferry-icebreaker.
In 1890, the famous ferry-icebreaker Baikal was launched. At that time it was considered the second largest among all icebreakers in the world. But on August 16, 1918, at the station of the Mysovaya ship, Czechoslovakians shot the ship from cannon, it was completely burnt. Rumors immediately arose about the fate of the famous icebreaker. It was said that it sank to the bottom of Lake Baikal. In fact, in October 1920, another icebreaker, the Angara, was towed to the port of Lake Baikal by a burnt out ship. There, the building stood for many years until it was cut into scrap metal. Everything that could be cut off in the port was dismantled. Then the remains of the Baikal were sent to the village of Larch. There the iron was gradually pulled out to the shore and cut. By 1930, there was nothing left of the icebreaker. And to look for the place of his repose in the lake is absolutely not worth it.
At the bottom of the “Baikal” is the gold of Kolchak.
In 2009, information appeared that the deep-water vehicles “Mir” at the bottom of the lake were about to discover the gold of the Russian admiral. The search was then written by the leading Russian media. But the locals themselves never said that the legendary treasure was flooded here. Before the work began, no information about gold was found. At one time, 28 pulmansk wagons with jewels arrived in Irkutsk in the golden echelon of Kolchak. There they were reloaded into 13 more voluminous four-axle American wagons and in May 1920 they returned to Kazan without loss. Overload and verification are recorded by the act of March 1, 1920, which is known to real historians. Lovers of the same sensations created a myth about the loss of a dozen cars on the road. In fact, the echelon did not go beyond Irkutsk, gold all remained in place, so that the treasure could not simply be found in Lake Baikal. And there was a myth, most likely, thanks to the novel by Englishman Brian Garfield “Gold of Kolchak”, published in 1974. There, the fictional story of the golden echelon, which followed to Vladivostok, was set out. The detective tells how, in our time, the KGB and the CIA are hunted for a treasure buried somewhere in Siberia. Quoted in the Russian media, the story of the fallen composition from the bridge across the Berezovsky Bay into Baikal waters is untenable. In 1914-1915, this bridge no longer existed. On August 30, 2009, at a depth of 1350 meters, the Mir apparatus found wreckage of wagons.Most likely, they refer not to the years of the Civil War, but to one of the well-known 15 wrecking events that occurred between 1930 and 1962. But there was no evidence that these cars of the times belong to the times of Kolchak, especially to gold. Really, these treasures at the bottom of the lake can not be, there is no point in searching for them.
There is an ancient paleo-observatory on Cape Rytom.
This place is located on the north-western shore of Lake Baikal. Legends say that on the promontory, ancient people built their Stonehenge. But this myth was created by the Moscow journalist A. Polyakov, who visited Baikal in 2005. In fact, the stones in the pile folded not so long ago. Inside of some pyramids there were even half-rotten bases of wooden pillars. Skepticism adds that the stone boulders on the north side were not covered with lichens and moss, they did not grow into the ground like the ancient pyramids. Most likely, these boulders were placed recently by local residents, denoting the places of haymaking.
During the Great Patriotic War, the tunnels of the Kruglobaykalskaya road from saboteurs were protected by mini-submarines.
According to this legend of small submarines, one of them even sank in the lake. This myth was invented by the crew of the ship “Secret” in 1995, wishing to attract tourists-divers. The legend was surprisingly stable and tenacious. It was said that in 1941 a mysterious submarine was brought to the Baikal, where it sank in 1943. However, there are no documents confirming the existence of this myth. During the war in the village of Tanhui, a detachment of underwater navigation of the Black Sea Fleet was based. The protection of the tunnels was carried by military units, not equipped with submarines, but with anti-aircraft batteries. One can only guess whether there were tests of miniature submarines here in those years. In 2004, a novel by V. Zverena, entitled “Sea Watch”, was published. At the heart of the work lay the fantastic story of the single mini submarine “Nerpa”, which operated in the waters of Lake Baikal. Submariners fought with Chinese divers, hunting for a sunken valuable cargo. This fictional story, being reworked, could form the basis of myth. Its formation is supported also by the historical fact of transportation of submarines by ferry through the Baikal. But this was during the years of the Russo-Japanese War. Then it was necessary to urgently deliver 12 submarines from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean. On a special platform were also transported 4 mini-submarines. And in the 1930s Soviet sailors from the same Baltic Sea and the Black Sea through Lake Baikal carried the hulls of small submarines of type M, as well as sections of medium submarines. During the Great Patriotic War these elements went back. On Lake Baikal, there really is one mini-submarine – its metal layout is located on an eternal parking lot on the bank of the Angara near the hotel complex “Anastasia”. It is evident from which pieces this myth was composed.
There are expensive tours to Baikal.
Many people would like to go to Lake Baikal, but this is considered an expensive pleasure. It is much easier and cheaper to go to the resorts in hot countries. In fact, it is worthwhile to understand that rest on Baikal can become one of the best memories of life. And even in conditions of limited finance, you can choose inexpensive options for recreation, you just need to plan everything in advance. To go here is better when the tourist activity is declining. From the beginning of September to the end of May, you can expect discounts, sometimes they can be 50% of the summer tour. And rest in such a season has a lot of advantages. There is no such number of tourists who interfere with enjoying nature and beauty. Travel by group will help you get an extra discount. Spending the night is better not in respectable hotels, but in small domestic hotels. Early booking will also help reduce the price.
Baikal is better to visit in the summer.
In other seasons the lake is interesting not less. In autumn everything seems to freeze, the forest becomes especially bright and colorful. Especially interesting is a rosemary blooming at this time.In winter, the surface of Lake Baikal is covered with ice, allowing to be born this fairy tale.
пере Genghis Khan’s troops crossed the island of Olkhon by land.
This legend appeared in 1761, thanks to the German historian G. Miller. In his “History of Siberia” he said that Genghis Khan, wandering, reached Lake Baikal. There, on the island of Olkhon on Cape Kobylia Head, the Mongols even left their tagan with a horse’s head. The local Buryats do not know anything about this, they did not find anything in historical documents about visiting the great commander of the island. Most likely, Genghis Khan was not on Baikal, and geologists say that in his epoch there was no dry isthmus between the mainland and Olkhon Island. Now around the island is quite deep, and in the topography of the bottom does not say anything about the existence of a once jumper.
Ancestors of Genghis Khan come from Baikal.
There are reasons to assume that the Barguzin Valley is the same legendary Bargujin Tokum, where the ancestors of Genghis Khan were born. For the first time Lev Gumilev put forward a hypothesis about this conformity. But today this comparison seems wrong. On old maps, the Bargu country is located on the very north of the continent – on the beach. Marco Polo in 1292 believed that Bargu – a Barabinsk steppe between the Yenisei and the Irtysh. Hardly this plain, which can be overcome in 40 days, can be a modern valley of the Barguzin River near Baikal. That has a width of up to 6 kilometers, and it is possible to cross the whole territory on horseback in 2-3 days.
The lake has permanent boundaries.
Baikal can be considered “alive” not only because of the diversity of flora and fauna. The lake is slowly but expanding. This occurs simultaneously with the movement of the continental plates. Baikal is located in the crustal fault. Part of the lake, adjacent to the Angara, does not change its position. And that bank that faces Buryatia, slowly, millimeter by millimeter, moves towards America.
At the bottom of Baikal is the base of aliens.
Such a myth is popular among locals. But there is no real proof, of course. Scientific expeditions repeatedly plunged into the depths of the lake, but nothing supernatural was found there. Residents talk about unusual glows in the sky, about luminous spheres rising from the surface. But in an attempt to reveal the facts it turns out that these stories are rumors of rumors.
Man quickly destroys the ecosystem of Lake Baikal.
On the shores of the lake is the infamous Baikal pulp and paper mill, which is accused of irreparable damage to the environment. He started work in 1966. Since then, environmentalists have not ceased to sound the alarm – the bottom areas around the lake began to dry up, the dioxin pollution significantly exceeded the norm. Fortunately, in 2013 the enterprise was closed. But this, like other anthropogenic interference, did not cause irreparable damage to the ecosystem of the lake. From Baikal, no endemic species has disappeared, the concentration of dissolved ions has remained, diatom algae live, the populations of seals and omul have the usual abundance. Thanks to the well-being of the local ecosystem, Lake Baikal was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Today, there are several environmental organizations involved in protecting Baikal and monitoring its performance.
You can drink Baikal’s water.
For more than thirty years, the idea to sell water from a lake in bottles or to build a water conduit from here. That’s just GOST, it does not match, because it lacks calcium. She can not consider mineral, there are no mineral substances in this water. Such characteristics make water dangerous for constant use. It is, in fact, distilled.
It’s easy to fish in Lake Baikal.
It is believed that there are so many fish in the lake that you can catch it almost with your hands. In the lake is really a rich fauna. But the fish must still be able to catch fish. Pike, perch and carp habitual to all in too cold depths are not found, they prefer shallow bays. The main species is omul.It is said that in the 1970s fishermen from Azov came to Baikal, who taught the local inhabitants the art of fishing. Fishing rods on Lake Baikal are not perceived as tackles. On the omul put networks, pulling pounds of “living silver”.
There is ice water in Lake Baikal.
For Europeans, accustomed to the warm southern resorts, the water in the lake can really seem icy. For local residents, “steam milk” is considered to be a temperature of 18 degrees. Up to this point, water can warm up in the summer, at a depth of no more than 12 degrees. The maximum recorded temperature in the lake is 23 degrees.
On Baikal, the climate is severe and nature.
In the summer around the lake, the temperature can reach 40 degrees Celsius. True, the weather is still unstable, given the strong winds on the lake. A sunny morning can be replaced by an evening shower. In general, the weather rarely brings surprises – it’s hot in summer and cold in winter. And according to the number of sunny days Baikal bypasses even some resorts. And the taiga surprises with its diversity. In the south of Baikal there are birch forests, and in the north – coniferous. There are also real steppes in the vicinity, which allowed Buryat cattle breeders to survive here.
There are mosquitoes on Baikal.
It is quite logical to assume that in the middle of the taiga there will be a lot of mosquitoes. But tourists, who are stockpiled with powerful protective equipment, are pleasantly surprised. There are few mosquitoes on Lake Baikal. In July, hot flies and windless weather are plagued by hornflies. And especially attentive tourists should be to mites – from them here comes the main danger.
The Baikal region is not pleased with the sights.
Many people think that the local nature is interesting only for the lake, forests, species, and mushrooms with berries. In fact, there is much interesting around Baikal. There is a historical settlement, which is 35 thousand years old, singing sands, mirages of mountains, trees over the water. You can hear echoes from a distance of several kilometers, strange “bottle” trees, “falling” stones, anthills with growth from a man, caves with underground lakes and colorful grottoes. A traveler will not be bored here.
Baikal is becoming shallow because of human activity.
Often experts say that in recent years the lake has begun to grow thin. In the basin of Lake Baikal, a dry water period has really begun, since 1996. A complicated hydrological situation is associated with an increased average temperature and a deficit of precipitation. The influx is 2-2.8 times less than normal. But here it is more to blame nature, not man. During the Ice Age, the flow of all rivers into the lake stopped altogether, its level fell by 50 meters. But Baikal was able to recover. Even over the past half century the water level has fallen to similar marks 19 times. Similar problems were also a hundred years ago, when no active economic activity a person here did not lead.