July 29, 2008

Lake Baikal

A Russian mini-sub set the world record for the deepest dive in a lake. Lake Baikal, at 5, 512 feet, is the deepest lake in the world.

While Lake Baikal was known as the “North Sea” in historical Chinese texts, it was situated in the then Xionu territory and very little was known about Lake Baikal until the Trans-Siberian railway was built between 1896 and 1902. The scenic loop encircling Lake Baikal needed 200 bridges and 33 tunnels. As this railway was being built, a large hydrogeographical expedition headed by F.K. Drizhenko produced the first detailed atlas of the contours of Baikal’s depths. The atlas demonstrated that Lake Baikal has more water than all of North America’s Great Lakes combined — 23,600 cubic kilometers (5,662.4 cu mi), about one fifth of the total fresh water on the earth. However, in surface area, it is exceeded by the much shallower Great Lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan in North America, as well as by the relatively shallow Lake Victoria in East Africa. Known as the “Galápagos of Russia”, its age and isolation have produced some of the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater fauna, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science.


  1. frank patrick on July 29th, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Lake Baikal was a question (answer?) on the qualifying test for Jeopardy back around 1990 when I was on. Knowing about it didn’t help on the show, though, when I blew 2 $1000 questions.

  2. Sheila Ryan on July 29th, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Wow. I have a friend who was on Jeopardy around that time. But he blew a few biggies, too.

  3. Lake Baikal « memoirs on a rainy day on July 30th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    […] fresh water reserves. It has more water in it than all of the Great Lakes combined! (via cf, images via wiki […]

  4. Sergey on August 18th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    “…record for the deepest dive in a lake. Lake Baikal, at 5, 512 feet…”

    This is mistake. Mini-sub did not set any records. They reached only deep 5,183 feet. They had problem with acoustical device.