Many people think of lakes as relatively small bodies of water. But some of them may surprise you with their size. Introducing the Top 10 deepest lakes in the world.
The deepest lake on the planet contains 19% of the world’s fresh water. It is located in the Republic of Buryatia, on the border with the Irkutsk region. One of the oldest reservoirs has a depth of 1637 meters, while the rest of the largest lakes in the world rarely exceed 600 meters.
The Baikal climate is notable for its diversity: now the scorching sun, now a stormy wind, now calm – to the delight of tourists resting on the shores.
The Siberian “crescent” has 27 islands, the largest of which is Olkhon. Regular seismic activity was noticed in the form of earthquakes with a power of 1-2 points. The water is clean and quite cold, even in summer its temperature is not higher than +8 degrees C.
The fauna of Baikal is as unique as the reservoir itself. More than half of the 2,600 animal species found here are endemic and not found anywhere else.
Age also remains an unsolved mystery. The oldest lake on Earth does not show signs of aging, which are usually observed in such cases. Scientists believe that the lake may turn into a new ocean in the future.
Baikal is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Siberian freshwater sea is so unique that it requires regular protection measures and respect. In addition to the endemic fauna, many natural and cultural monuments are concentrated here.
Tanganyika is located in the center of Africa, in a tectonic depression, and reaches a length of several hundred kilometers. The maximum depth is 1470 meters, according to this indicator, Tanganyika is in the second place of the deepest lakes in the world after Lake Baikal.
The water is fresh, near the surface it retains heat all year round – from 22 to 29 degrees, depending on the season. The lake is highly transparent – up to 30 meters. The salt content is high and tastes like sea water. This is ensured by the high volatility of the warm reservoir.
In the local dialect, the name of the lake sounds like “water full of fish”. Cichlid fish are especially common, 98% of the species are endemic. Depending on the species, the size can vary from 2 to 100 cm. In addition to cichlids, there are 150 species of other fish, many of them are commercial. A special place in the farm is the catch of aquarium species. Invertebrates, crocodiles, hippos, and many aquatic birds inhabit the waters of the lake.
The reservoir is shared by 4 countries: Burundi, Zambia, Congo, Tanzania. The local population uses the water of Tanganyika for drinking. Fishing and tourism provide the welfare of the people of coastal countries.
Lake Vostok got its name from the nearby Soviet station of the same name in 1957. In fact, its discovery in 2012 is the last significant geographical discovery in Antarctica. There is a lake under an ice shell 4 km thick.
Many reservoirs have been found under the ice of the mainland, but Vostok is the largest of them. With a length of 250 km and a width of 50 km, this reservoir has a depth of about 1200 meters.
Surprisingly, the water keeps the temperature between 2 and 10 degrees. At this time, outside the temperature above the ice surface can drop below 80 degrees Celsius. There is speculation that the heat comes from geothermal sources. The ice column creates a huge water pressure, measurements showed 300 atmospheres. Organisms are also capable of living in such unusual conditions. Their uniqueness lies in the fact that their habitat has evolved in isolation for millions of years. Many kilometers of ice was a reliable barrier.
Water samples from the relict lake, delivered by drilling wells, have opened the veil of secrets about the past of our planet. They contain thermophilic bacteria adapted to life at a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius. They do well without oxygen and sunlight, getting energy for life from hydrogen sulfide.
An unexpected discovery was a magnetic anomaly near the shore of Lake Vostok: the magnetic compass needle rotates continuously, and it is impossible to determine the direction. The phenomenon can be caused by nearby iron deposits or electromagnetic installations.
Research continues, and in the near future the East will reveal to mankind many of its secrets.
4. Caspian Sea
A drainless salt lake, the size of a sea, is located on the border between Europe and Asia. The depth reaches 1025 meters. But the area is impressive – 371,000 square kilometers.
Closer to river mouths, the water is less salty than in other parts of the reservoir. The temperature, depending on the season, can range from 0 to 26 degrees Celsius. The water level in the Caspian Sea is subject to impressive fluctuations, reaching 15 meters over the past three thousand years.
The Caspian is rich in species of flora and fauna. The fauna is represented by 1810 species, and the flora – 730. There are more than 100 species of fish alone, among them: sturgeon, mullet, sprat, salmon, roach, and others. The Caspian seal is also a representative of the local fauna. Aquatic vegetation is represented mostly by algae, many of which got into the reservoir by navigation.
The Intergovernmental Economic Conference of the Caspian states gave the coastline ownership to five countries: Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Russia, Azerbaijan.
The local population is engaged in fishing, seal hunting, and caviar harvesting. Salt, oil, gas and limestone are mined. Shipping and health tourism are well developed.
5. San Martin
The deepest lake in America is named after one of the national heroes of Argentina and is located in the Andes, in a sparsely populated area. It has a maximum depth of 836 meters.
The water is fresh and very clean. It does not freeze throughout the year and has a blue hue thanks to the minerals that enter the lake with the melting of mountain ice.
Most of the time, the weather is windy, and rising waves can interfere with boat movement.
The isolated conditions contributed to the formation of local species: the clawed duck, the Andean fox, the uemul deer, and the Magellanic king’s woodpecker. A huge amount of fish can be found in the waters (trout, perch, brown trout).
The city of El Chalten became the center of tourism. It is located in a nearby national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Lake of Storms” – this is what the locals call this majestic reservoir. Storm winds and hurricanes are frequent here. The greatest depth – 706 m. Nyasa is located in the crack of the Rift depression between the Red Sea and the mouth of the Zambezi River.
Nyasa is in first place in the world for the diversity of aquatic fauna. The number of fish species alone reaches a thousand, the lion’s share of them are cichlids. Many are endemic. In Malawi, they are not only eaten, but also exported as aquarium fish. In addition, residents are engaged in agriculture and tourism services.
The abundance of fish attracts crocodiles and whooper eagles, kingfishers, and cormorants that feed on aquatic organisms. A unique phenomenon on Nyasa is the annual release of lake flies from larvae living in the water. For several days, clouds of insects fly in the air, sometimes blocking the sunlight.
Issyk-Kul is one of the deepest lakes in Asia. From space, the lake looks like a large blue human eye. It is located on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, between the mountains Kyungei Ala-Too and Terskey Ala-Too. The name Issyk-Kul in translation from the Kyrgyz language sounds like “hot lake”, because it never freezes.
The transparency and purity of the water in Issyk-Kul amaze tourists, just like in the old days. The transparency disc can be perfectly observed even at a depth of twenty meters.
Intense evaporation contributes to the accumulation of salt in the waters of the lake, and it has a slight salinity. This does not prevent people from using it for cooking, and animals drink from the reservoir without consequences.
The lake is rich in fish; in the Soviet years, fish-breeding factories worked on the shores, replenishing the populations of popular fish varieties: trout, pike perch, bream.
The southern side of the reservoir, where there is a salt lake, is becoming popular. The salt saturation of the waters of this part allows it to lie on the surface, as in the Dead Sea. Water has medicinal properties and attracts a lot of people who want to improve their health.
8. Great Slave Lake
The deepest lake in Canada is located in the northwest of the country, not far from the city of Yellowknife. It owes its name to the local Slavey Indians. An incorrect translation of the local name stuck and the lake remained “slave”. The depth of the reservoir is fixed at 614 m.
In November, the lake is covered with ice and keeps it until June. The thickness of the ice cover is quite significant, which makes it possible to withstand trucks and snowmobile equipment without consequences.
On the shores, copper, gold and diamonds are mined, from these industries the indigenous Indians receive a percentage of the income. There is developed shipping between coasts and islands.
Big Slave is rich in fish: whitefish, salmon, trout – attract fishing enthusiasts from other countries. A rare bird species, the American crane, lives in these places. Many eagles, gulls, geese constantly visit the lake in search of fish.
9. Crater Lake
Crater Lake is located in the national park of the same name in the United States, in southern Oregon. It happened on the site of the extinct volcano Mazam. With a depth of 597 meters, it is considered the deepest lake in the United States. The source of water replenishment is exclusively atmospheric precipitation; rivers do not flow into the reservoir and do not flow out of it. In this lake, a transparency record was set – 53.3 m (in 1997).
The impressions of tourists from the view of the lake are not unambiguous: some are fascinated by the blue of Kreiter, others are frightened by a gloomy ominous sensation. For some indigenous tribes who have preserved the history of the origin of the lake in legends, it still remains sacred, giving signs to people. They hid this place from outsiders for as long as possible.
The names of the islands seem to be taken from a fairy tale: Magic, Ghost Island. There is also the “old man of the lake” – a nine-meter log, 60 cm in diameter, floating in the water vertically for more than a hundred years. The low water temperature allows the “watchman” to remain unchanged for so many years.
10. Lake Buenos Aires
The reservoir is located on the border of Chile and Argentina. Chileans call him General Carrera, and Argentines call him Buenos Aires. The waters of the lake are carried to the ocean by the outflowing Baker River. The depth of the reservoir is 590 m, which puts it in 10th place in the list of the deepest lakes in the world.
The climate in this place is often cold and windy, but this does not discourage tourists who want to see the “Marble Cathedral” with their own eyes. An island built by nature itself from mineral rocks of white and turquoise colors. The cathedral has grown in popularity since 1994, when it received the status of a National Monument. The low water level allows tourists to get inside, admiring the picturesque cliffs.
The caves have been shaped by waves, grinding rock formations for over 6 thousand years. Chemical composition – 94% calcium carbonate (marble). Besides the caves, the lake is full of fish, which attracts the attention of other tourists.