Lake Baikal is the worlds oldest and deepest lake with an age of 25 million years or more and a depth of 5,336 feet deep. The incredible average depth is around 2,442 feet deep. The lake is located in the south region of Russias Siberia, near Oblast. The lake has so much volume to it that it is also recognized as the worlds most voluminous lake, it truly holds over 20% of the worlds total unfrozen freshwater. It is also among the most clearest of lakes on earth today, on some days visitors to the lake can see down up to 300 feet to the bottom or more. The lake was actually formed from a rift valley, the result of the land ripping apart from itself. Like almost all rift formed lakes, Baikal is half moon shaped. The lake is a world heritage site registered with UNESCO and has over 1,700 species of marine life and wildlife.
One of Africa's great lakes is Lake Tanganyika, which is just a close second behind Lake Baikal for deepest lakes; it bottoms out at 4,823 feet deep. The huge lake is actually spread out between four countries, mainly because it is also the longest freshwater lake on earth. From the Republic of Congo to Zambia, the lake formed in a rift valley, which left the biggest shares of the lake to Tanzania and the Republic of Congo. The majority of the lake runs off into the Congo River, which is a vital trade route for the country of Congo. It finally makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean after hundreds of miles traveling through various rivers. The surrounding cities of the lake make a living from the lake vast marine life and fish happens to make up around 40% of the local cities diets. It is also home to much endemic wildlife that use the lake as a vital means of water.
3. Caspian Sea
At a depth of 3,363 feet sits the Caspian Sea, which is located within 5 countries. It is the earths biggest enclosed body of water, there are no rivers releasing the lakes waters. It was ancient inhabitants of the area that classified the sea as an ocean due to the fact that it seemed to go on forever and the fact that it is a salty. The salinity of the lake is around 1.45 percent, enough to make it inhabitable by some salt water marine life. The lake cannot support most saltwater fish or mammals because it is only about a third of the oceans salinity levels. In Iran the lake is known as "the sea of Mazadaran” and in Persia it is frequently called "Darya ye Khazar. Each country has their own personal uses for the giant lake but for everyone the lake brings harvest marine life for food and industry.
Lake Vostok an Antarctic giant is the largest of around 140 "under ice” glacial lakes and it has been recently drilled into by Russian scientists. The scientists core samples have continuously brought a record of 400,000 years of paleoclimatic history. The facts of climate are surprising being that the lakes water itself has been isolated for 15 to 125 million or more years. The lake is actually located beneath 11,400 feet of ice and has an estimated depth of around 3,300 feet, although it is still unsure how deep the lake actually is. The underground lake is made of two basins as it is split in the middle by an underwater ridge. Vostok Lake got its name from the Vostok Station, which is named after a mass of water sailed by the discoverers of Antarctica. Just as recently as February 2012, A team of Russian scientist claims to have made the longest recorded core drilling of 12,400 feet which pierced the the ice sheet and reached the surface of the lake.
5. O'Higgins/San Martin Lake
Chile is also home to one of the worlds deepest lakes it is a shared lake, split between Argentina and Chile. Since the lake is shared it goes by two names, on the Argentinean side it is known as the San Martin Lake and on the Chilean side it is known by the name OHiggins. The lake regardless of name has a depth of 2,742 feet and actually sits about 250 meters above sea level. The lake is one of the largest in the Americas and is almost split directly in half by the two sharing countries. The lake is actually a large series of thin valleys that were flooded throughout the years and have come to form the lake. This is best seen when the lake is viewed from above, in a helicopter for example. A unique characteristic of the lake is that it has a milky light blue shade and this is due to the rock flour that is suspended in the waters.
Philippines deepest lake has to be Lake Pinatubo with a depth of 2,600 feet there is no other lake in the country that can compare to its depths. Interestingly the lake is quite new to the world as it is a crater lake of Mount Pinatubo which erupted dramatically in 1991 and after the core settled down the lake formed. The volcano actually goes through what seems like cycles as it remains active, one moment the caldera is filled with rain waters and the next moment the water is being boiled away by molten lava. The volcano is still active to this day and the cycle has happened this way for centuries. One day the lake is filling the crater the next it is gone. It is hard for scientists to put an exact date of when the next eruption will be but one thing is for sure Lake Pinatubo is here today but may not be tomorrow.
Another African Great Lake is Lake Malawi, which is also known as Lake Nyassa in some of its housing countries. The lake is shared by several countries. It is a rift formation on Africas East Rift system. The southern end of the rift is where the lake formed. Malawi is the third largest lake in Africa and the eighth largest known in the world today. Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi share the lake; of course Malawi is where the majority of the lake is located as the country also gave the lake its most well known name after the country. In Africa it is the second deepest lake with a depth of 2,365 feet to the deepest point known. The Northern end of the lake is very shallow though and by treading the waters there is really no way to tell that it is so deep at least in the north end. The lakes tropical climate makes it home to numerous species of fish and marine life giving it the record of being the most diverse freshwater body on earth.
8. Issyk Kul
Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan is the second largest mountain lake in the world and the deepest in its home country with a total depth of 2,192 feet. There are over 118 rivers and streams feeding the lake. It is also fed by many hot springs and snow melt. Normal mineral springs feed the monstrous lake as well. The Mountain lake sits at an elevation about 5,7272 feet above sea level in the countrys vast mountain range. The lake actually has no visible outlets but it is a hypothesis by many hydrologists that the lake has underground outlets that let the lakes waters filter out into the Chu River, which makes much sense but has not yet been proven. The bottom of the lake holds some of the only known lacustrine deposits in the world, there are more deposits in the world but not nearly as much in quantity that is found on the floor of Issyk Kul.
9. Great Slave Lake
The Great Slave Lake in Canada covers an area of 10,502 square miles and has a impressive depth of 2,015 feet. The lake has many towns located on its banks even some that are abandoned due to the harsh winter climate. The first settlers of the lake were Native Americans, which had many camps around the lake. One of the camps exists to this day, the camp is named Dettah. The first British explorer came to the area in 1771, Samuel Hearne was his name and he crossed the lake without even knowing as it was frozen. When he realized that there was a lake beneath his feet he initially named it Lake Athapuscow. The lake is also home to the site where Buffalo Jones and his hunting party fended off a pack of hungry wolves that had been tracking them. The abandoned cabin is set alongside the lake and the exploits of Jones and his party were verified in 1907 through remains found outside the cabin.
10. Crater Lake
In the state of Oregon, people annually visit the Crater Lake, which happens to be one of the deepest lakes in the Americas with a grand depth of 2,148 feet. The deep crater that holds the lakes waters formed around 8,000 years ago. Mount Mazama is the volcano that made the crater as it collapsed centuries ago. Crater Lake may be most famous for its deep blue waters and the almost glass like clarity that it exhibits. There are no tributaries coming into the lake and there is no way for waters to escape. It is evaporation that lowers the lakes levels and the rate is that that total amount of water is replaced about every 250 years by rain and snowfall. The lake was renamed at least three different times with the first name being "Deep Blue Lake”. One thing that attracts many to the lake aside from it majestic feel is the "Old Man of the Lake”, which is a full size tree stump that has been floating in the lake vertically for more than a century.
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