Lake Baikal,declared a World Heritage site is located in the southern part of eastern Siberia within the republic of Buryatia and Irkutsk Province of Russia. It is the oldest existing freshwater lake on Earth (20–25 million years old), as well as the deepest continental body of water, having a maximum depth of 5,315 feet (1,6 kilometres). With a length of 395 miles and an average width of 30 miles It is also the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume, containing about one-fifth of the fresh water on the Earth’s surface.When it freezes, however, the layer of ice is so thick that the Trans-Siberian Railway briefly ran across it! Plant and animal life in the lake is rich and various. There are between 1,500 and 1,800 animal species at different depths, and hundreds of plant species live on or near the surface. The majority of the species are endemic to Baikal. It is Russia's pride and a gift of nature to Humanity.
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