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Lake Baikal is a lake of mystery (proishozhdenie, fauna)

N. The Indian

On the East of the country between these two ranges lies the most mysterious lake in the world – Baikal. Still remains a mystery, how it arose, what is its history and why quite unusual animals inhabit his icy water.

The depth of Baikal reaches 1 741 meters. And the water in it fits more than, for example, in the Baltic sea!

Of course, such a large amount of water affect the climate of the coast. Baikal summer tempers the heat, and in winter, long retains heat, softens the hard Siberian frosts. But the lake is always very cold. Even in warmer months, the surface water temperature 7 to 9° C.

Baikal sponge

And you know what the clear and pure water in Baikal! If you pull into the lake to a depth of 40 meters white disc the size of a plate, it can be clearly seen.

336 big and small rivers and rivers flow into Baikal, and flows out only one large river Angara. This lake has never been nor brackish nor salty. So it never was connected with the sea or ocean.

But is this possible! It is well known that lake Baikal is inhabited by the real sea animals, like seals, some worms, fish and crustaceans-amphipods. No other lake you will not find such sponges in meter and a half tall, which are found in Baikal.

Crustacean-amphipod from lake Baikal

Sponge form at the bottom of the lake, dense thickets in which to hide numerous and unusual in appearance Baikal crustaceans-amphipods. Wonderful and Baikal golomyanka, a pink translucent fish without scales. Golomyanka do not throw eggs, they give birth to live young and then die. These interesting fish live at great depths, where little food, so at night they go in search of food to the surface. Golomyanka, Baikal besides, nowhere are found.


Only in some coastal bays you will find in the lake common freshwater animals, such as larvae of dragonflies, mosquitoes, beetles, predacious diving beetles or mayflies, which we used to see in every lake and pond.

Previously, scientists thought that in the distant past on the current site of lake Baikal was the sea or Bay. But our scientists discovered that a region of Eastern Siberia, and Baikal which is located, for a very long time – over 500 million years – were not covered by the sea. The lake was formed much later. It never has the Gulf, no part of the sea.

Baikal seal

How caught in the Baikal sea animals? This question can have two answers. They could spread down the rivers from the Arctic ocean.

Could “sea animals” to occur in the lake under the influence of similar to the sea conditions.

And here’s another remarkable feature of the Baikal fauna – many animals, which inhabit lake Baikal, do not occur in other lakes and rivers of Siberia. To see these animals, we will have to go to the tropics or subtropics or transferred to the tens and even hundreds of millions of years ago in the geological past of our planet. In lake Baikal, for example, inhabit a kind of hislope the bryozoans, the nearest relatives which live in the lakes of India, and leech toriks, found, in addition to the Baikal, only in fresh waters of southern China. Epischura shrimp lives in lake Baikal and lakes of North America, and clam choanomphalus in lake Baikal and lake Ohrid on the Balkan Peninsula.

Baikal omul

How could it happen that in the lake Baikal and lakes of North America, South Asia and Europe inhabited by the same or closely related animals! These are all scattered across the globe ponds were once connected by a single water system!

No, of course, was different. As in our time throughout Europe and Northern Asia there is a monotonous freshwater fauna, and the many millions of years ago on a vast area, which included the whole of Eurasia and perhaps North America, in the rivers and lakes were inhabited by the same animals. Over the centuries, under the onslaught of new, more viable forms of these animals are almost extinct everywhere. They survived only in isolated corners of the globe. Best of all, they have survived in the lake.

The Baikal sturgeon

However, the Baikal is inhabited by not only the strange and mysterious animals that must be protected. This lake is not only a “Museum”, but also an important commercial pool. Everyone knows the famous Baikal omul. Catch of fish nearly all year round, even in winter.

In the autumn, in September – October, omul spawning rises for hundreds of miles up rivers and streams flowing into Baikal.

In Baikal there are other fish: sturgeon, trout, grayling, whitefish and burbot. Of the Baikal sturgeon. They evolved in purely freshwater fish. In spring, sturgeons enter the rivers for spawning and then return in the icy waters of lake Baikal. They never go in the sea is a huge lake replaced them with native elements. No wonder the Siberians call this amazing lake by the sea.

And they are right: the Baikal with its immense depth and unique fauna and in fact is reminiscent of the sea – the world’s only “freshwater sea”. Take care!

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