The photo above shows Lake Baikal, where Lars and Denise are spending three days before catching another train for Mongolia.
It’s huge. I knew it was the world’s deepest lake, but I had no idea it was so large nor so beautiful. We’ve been rolling along its southern and eastern edges for hours now.
I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned some amazing things: Lake Baikal is the seventh largest lake in the world in terms of surface area, but it is so remarkably deep that it is easily the most voluminous freshwater lake in the world. It‘s also thought to be the world’s oldest lake at 25 million years.
How much water does Lake Baikal hold? If you were to add up all of the fresh surface water in the world — every lake, every river, every stream, every swamp, and every marsh, plus all the water contained in every living creature, and every drop of water found in the earth’s atmosphere — you’d wind up with water enough to fill a cube approximately 22 miles on each side. Lake Baikal accounts for a whopping 22% of it — twice as much as Lake Superior, five times more than Lake Michigan, and, in fact, more than all of North America’s Great Lakes combined.
And here’s a chart that shows you how deep Lake Baikal is compared to the world’s other “great” lakes.