It’s not an easy task to capture the majesty of Lake Baikal, but this photographer did an excellent job doing so.
Did you know? In addition to being the oldest lake in the world, the Baikal lake also the deepest. Scientists estimate that the body of water is 35 million years old, and it’s because of this as well as local lore that the Russian lake is constantly visited by tourists from other nations.
In fact, fisherman, scientists, and locals have observed glowing orbs on the lake, which nearby residents claim are spirits. Members of the scientific community, however, have a hypothesis that the orbs are instead methane emissions which spontaneously ignite in the air. Whatever their cause, most people can agree that they are fascinating.
There’s more to be fascinated by when it comes to Lake Baikal. Not only does the area experience 2,000 earthquakes per year, most fall outside of the scale of earthquakes. Additionally, when the lake is frozen, ice can form up to five meters in depth. This allows vehicles that weigh up to 15 tons to drive onto the ice. One must be careful, however, as the density of the ice varies in different locations.
“We were raptured over its beauty so much, that we almost didn’t sleep all 3 days we were here.”
“In some parts ice is slippery like the mirror. You can shoot ideal reflections. A lot of travelers are moving about on skates, bicycles or sledge. Some of them are walking for several hundreds of kilometers and are sleeping in the tents on ice. Marvelous place. Very atmospheric,” they added.
According to the photographer, the lake was an ideal spot to capture images, as the ice is constantly cracking. Reportedly, being present when one of the 10-30 km cracks forms is an astounding experience, as a loud sound “that reminds of thunder or gun shot” takes place.
Макеева also shared local lore on the lake’s origins:
“There is a legend that the Father of Baikal had 336 rivers – sons – and one daughter – Angara. All sons were flowing into Baikal to restock the water, but the daughter fell in love with Yenisei (one more river in Russia) and started to take everything from father’s water to her lover. In respond, the father Baikal threw a huge rock into his daughter and cursed her. This rock is called Shaman-Stone, and it is situated in the springhead of Angara and is considered to be it’s beginning. Baikal is the most beautiful place in the world.”
Following are 15+ otherworldly photographs of the oldest and deepest lake on Earth: