Lake Baikal. Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15-million-ha Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world's total unfrozen freshwater reserve.
So large that it is often mistaken for a sea, Russia's Lake Baikal is the deepest and oldest lake in the world, and the largest freshwater lake by volume. Famous for its crystal clear waters and unique wildlife, the lake is under threat by pollution, poaching and development.
Lake Baikal is so deep because it is located in an active continental rift zone. The rift zone is widening at a rate of about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) per year.
This freshwater lake reaches depths of 5,387 feet (1,642 meters) and freezes over to a thickness of 5 to 6.5 feet. It’s a lake that has historically been walked over during the winter, including by the Russian army in 1920 during the Great Siberian Ice March. Today, people flock to Lake Baikal, some even setting up tents to marvel at the clear ice.
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