Baikal is a unique lake on our planet. Baikal is arift valley lake. The lake is considered to be the deepest one in the world andit is the most voluminous fresh water lake in the world. There are still many mysteries in the depths of Lake Baikal …
The Lake does not Hurry to Reveal its Secrets
The researchers are constantly discovering in the lake new kinds of animals, most of which are endemic (species are unknown to science). The lake is located in a cold climate. However, Baikal is rich in biodiversity; the lake is superior to any fresh waterlake in the world in that! The researchers say that Baikal looks like tropical seas with their vivid flora and fauna.
Lake Baikal is also famous for legends, stories and unusual facts. The first stories about a big unknown animal were published in the press in 1938. There are also earlier remarks on this subject. But there is still no good definite proof of that Baikal beast.
Truth and Fiction about Lake Baikal
Here there are some legends and facts (listed below) about Lake Baikal.
1. At the turn of our era on the shores of Lake Baikal there were Chinese travelers. They described their impressions about their meeting with aGod of the lake,the huge dragon-fish. In XIII-XIV centuries the famous traveler Rashid-ad-Din mentioned about that dragon-fish as well. In Buryat legends this strange beast are called Lusud-Khan or Usan-Lobson Khan, these names mean “Water Dragon-Master”. Among the petroglyphs on Baikal cliffs there are also some pictures of this unknown creature.
Let’s launch into a digression a bit.
The Angara River is the river that drains Lake Baikal, and is the headwater tributary of the Yenisei River. On the bank of the Yenisei rivernear the village Askiz an ancient stone stele was discovered.
We cleared a picture on the stele from earlier and later images. As a result wehave this photo (the picture changes every second):
We think it is a big animal like a lizard. The creature has jaws with a forked tongue and long claws as well. The creature is in the upright position. On the back of the animal there is plate-armour.
Near the jaws thereare some gills too. The animal itself isin water partially or completely.On the right side we can see the image of a fish.
How old is this pic? The stele was a part of constructions in Tagar culture, hence IX-III century BC.
2. Now we are going to talk to you about another Buryat legend. (The Buryats are people who livein the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia – Lake Baikal is situated on that territory). Long-agoone day Bogatyr Horidoy was chasing a water dragon and at last he visited the largest Baikal island of Olkhon. The terrible water dragon turned into a maiden, a beautiful girl. She got married to the Bogatyr. They had children. The legend says that the Buryat people are descended from the couple’s kids.
3. In 1912, many newspapers wrote about unusual phenomenon on the lake that scared people much. Near the station Sharyzhalgay on Lake Baikal people saw the giant water heads. Then, in this area there washigh fish mortality. It is possible that the giant water heads were caused by the emission of gas from the bottom of the lake, as a result of the earth’s crust movement during the earthquake.
4. In 1977 “Paysis”, a deep operating vehicle, run by the specialists at the depth of 1200 meters, during the dive, turned the spotlight off. However, “Paysis” was still lit by a bright ray. The light after a few seconds went out. What was that? – It is still unknown.
5. In 2008-2010 there was also an expedition with the two unique deep water vehicles “Mir”. “Mirs” were working at the depths of 1637 meters. Probably, the researchers made one of the most significant discoveries in the field in recent years: the discovery of the so-called gas hydrates – a special kind of ice with a high content of natural gas. The specific feature of hydrates is that when the temperature rises, they immediately begin to evaporate rapidly. Such structures have already been found in other reservoirs, but Baikal became the first fresh water one in the list. The gas hydrates can be used as fuel in future! After this discovery, all scientists consider that the depths of Lake Baikal are Golden indeed. The researchers of Baikal also discovered some new unknown underwater flora and fauna species, but no Baikal Monster …
6. Scientists discovered a strong magnetic anomaly in the rift zone on Lake Baikal, where the Earth’s crust pulls apart. In the last 50 years, the level of magnetic field has grown twice. Perhaps, it is a signal that Lake Baikal will turn the great new oceans into?
Legends, different opinions, anomalous phenomena…
But we can only say for certain that Baikal is a very unique lake indeed. Some great discoveries have been already made, but the lake is still full of many mysteries and secrets. It seems to us that the scientists-enthusiasts will be surprising the world with interesting discoveries on Lake Baikal in future for sure.
PS what do you think about the monster of lake Baikal? Does it exist in reality?
To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev
The article is used on some materials by the historian Alexey Timonenko and channel Vesti.
Original pic from the stele: by Yuri Esin | “Sayan Altai Scientific review”, 2012, № 1.
The photo is given by Irina Migunova.