The Incredible Ice Formations Of Lake Baikal Look Like Extraterrestrial Sculptures
This is another of those posts that made me say “woah” as soon as I saw the pictures of the ice formations on Lake Baikal.
Located in the Russian region of Siberia, Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest and most voluminous freshwater lake. It contains approximately 23% of the world’s surface water!
And the cool thing about it – what makes it even more unique and interesting – is that the winds that hit the lake create awe-inspiring ice sculptures in the winter time.
How Do They Form?
The location, geography, and ferocious winds of Lake Baikal combine with the cycles of melting and refreezing to create ice formations like you’ve never seen.
These ice sculptures are works of art in nature; each containing their own little world of bubbles and patterns.
So here’s what happens: The wind kicks up the water, which then freezes, forming pedestals for stones, waves in the surface of the ice, beaches filled with pebbles of ice, methane bubbles frozen into super cool designs, and icicles like you wouldn’t believe.
How Do They “Lift Up” Stones?
The stones that sit proud and elevated from Lake Baikal are on small columns of ice known as legs.
At one point in time, the bottom of the stone froze to the surface of the ice. Over time, the intense winds wore away at the surface, resulting in a smooth pedestal with a shallow depression.
The phenomena is widely studied and creates an intersection between science and art. Isn’t it absolutely stunning?
Visiting Lake Baikal
Yes, you can visit Lake Baikal! When Russia is back open to travel, of course.
This Rift Valley, created by the Baikal Rift Zone is a section of land where the Earth’s crust is slowly pulling apart. As the most ancient lake in geological history, it’s fed by as many as 330 inflowing rivers, and is very much worth the visit to Siberia, once borders are open.
Please check travel restrictions before embarking on an epic journey anywhere in the world right now. Travel is just as turbulent these days as the frantic winds on Lake Baikal.
Check this out! Speaking of ice… The biggest ice cream cone in the world required airlifting to get to the contest.