The Deepest Lake on Earth

The world's biggest and deepest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Russia. It has a surface area of 12,248 square miles and a depth of up to 5,387 feet -that's a mile deep! But as fascinating as the facts are, the myths and legends are equally as interesting.

The capes and islands within the lake have their own mythology. The largest of these, Olkhon Island, is the world’s third-biggest lake island – and interestingly it is supposed to be the birthplace of Genghis Khan. Jesus is also said to have visited the area, blessing the land to the north of Baikal but dismissing the terrain south of the lake as “nothing” – which locals say explains the apparent inability to grow corn in that region. Cape Ryty on the shore to the west of the lake is believed to be cursed, and locals hold that going there can result in a sudden and early death for trespassers.

Read more about Lake Baikal and see gorgeous pictures at Environmental Graffiti.

(Image credit: Flickr user Serge Bystro)

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"Some of the magical properties attributed to the lake include its ability to extend life – for those who are willing to risk a dip in its 23 °F (-5 °C) waters."

A lake of supercooled water - that is magical.
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