Nature, Science & Tech — 13 February 2017

Frozen spectacle in Lake Baikal creates its own beautiful music – a blend of the sound of water with the tinkling of glass shards.

Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake, curves for nearly 400 miles through south-eastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border. It lies in a cleft where Asia is literally splitting apart, the beginnings of a possible future ocean. Surrounded by mile-high snowcapped mountains, Lake Baikal offers vistas of unmatched beauty.

Frozen Lake Baikal
Clear, turquoise shades of ice on Lake Baikal – Credit 2013 Alexey Trofimov

The 3.15-million-ha lake is 25 million years old with a depth of 1,700 metres. It contains 20% of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve.

Known as the ‘Galapagos of Russia’, its age and isolation have produced one of the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science. During the winter season, the lake usually freezes over for up to five months a year, with January temperatures averaging at -17 C (1 F). Its ice is so thick, cars often drive across it. Because of those low temperatures, ‘ice waves’ form on the shoreline.

This thrilling video shows the moment such ice waves crash onto the shore of this fantastic lake.

Watch on YouTube

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