Located in Siberia near the Mongolian border and surrounded by steep mountains and dense forests, Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater body of water in the world. With a reported depth of well over 4,911-feet, this colossal lake is credited with holding over twenty percent of the planet’s fresh water, and harboring more endemic species of flora and fauna than any other lake on the face of the Earth.
These facts, along with the remoteness of the region, seems to indicate that Baikal is perfectly suited to harbor a mystery monster of immense proportions… and eyewitnesses confirm that it does.
Described by most eyewitnesses as being sturgeon-like in appearance (which is not surprising since the largest sturgeon ever recorded was caught in Russia and measured a whopping 27-feet) this infamous beast has also been likened to a gargantuan pinniped. This fact is also interesting, considering that Lake Baikal – even though it is situated over 1,000-miles from the nearest marine coast – supports a massive seal population. This also opens the possibility that the lake harbors both unusually large sturgeon and a bizarre mammalian monstrosity.
There have been numerous theories posed as to the origin of this animal, including the ever popular prehistoric relic landlocked in the lake during the last ice age to the environmentally-vogue hypothesis that the creature is a man made aberration stemming from the tremendous amount of pollution spewed into the lake. The number one perpetrator of this heinously degenerative act is the Baikalsk Pulp & Paper Mill, which has dumped approximately 210,000 cubic meters of untreated waste into Lake Baikal every day since 1966.
Other researchers have even speculated that the animal may be a rogue SEA-SERPENT, which as a juvenile swam up one of the 366 rivers and streams that feed the Baikal basin.
Whatever this creature may or may not be one of the most intriguing aspects of Lake Baikal is that it is the only freshwater environment on Earth known to support Hydrothermal-vent life forms. These amazing conglomerations of aquatic animals have been discovered at an approximate depth of 1,200-feet, in the northern portion of the lake and are said to harbor an array of species including sponges, bacterial mats, snails, transparent shrimp, and fish… some of which are new to science.
On July 29, 2008, Russian scientists, led by Artur Chilingarov, attempted to reach the bottom of the world’s deepest freshwater abyss in a bid to find unknown life forms as well as claim a new record. “We want to study, observe Lake Baikal” in order to “preserve it,” said Chilingarov.