Lake Baikal is in Southern Siberia in Russia, located between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, near the city of Irkutsk. It is also known as the "Blue Eye of Siberia". It contains more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined. At 1,637 meters (5,371 ft), Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world, and the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume. Like Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed in an ancient rift valley and therefore is long and crescent-shaped with a surface area (31,494 km²), less than that of Lake Superior or Lake Victoria. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. At more than 25 million years old, it is the oldest lake in the world. A Russian mini-submarine attempting to set a record for the deepest freshwater dive on July 29, 2008 was originally reported as being successful, but a correction later emerged that reported the MIR I failed to do so, reaching a depth of only 1,580 meters.
(Moscow, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Siberia, Irkutsk, Lake Baikal, Ulan Ude)
(Ulaan Bataar, Gobi Desert)
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