World's largest, deepest lake


 Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world (by volume) and the world's deepest lake. Somewhat crescent shaped, it is in the southern Siberia area of Russia. In 1996 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

"Lake Baikal is the oldest lake in the world. It is home to approximately 1,700 to 1,800 endemic plant and animal species," said Jennifer Castner of Pacific Environment's Russia program. Additionally, it holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, due to the lake's depth. 

Volume: 5,521 cubic miles of water (23,013 cubic kilometers). This volume is approximately equivalent to all five of the North American Great Lakes combined, according to Geology.com.



Maximum depth: 5,354 feet (1,632 meters). Its lowest point lies more than 4,000 feet (1,219 m) below sea level, according to Smithsonian magazine.

Average depth: 2,442 feet (744 m), according to Smithsonian magazine.

Surface area: 12,248 square miles (31,722 square km), according to Smithsonian magazine. This area puts it in seventh place worldwide in terms of surface area, according to Geology.com.

Length: 397 miles (640 km), according to Lake Baikal.org.

Maximum width: 49 miles (79.5 km), according to Baikal World Web.

Average width: 29 miles (47 km), according to Baikal World Web. 

Minimum width: 16 miles (25 km), according to Baikal World Web. 

Coastline area: 1,300 miles (2,100 km), according to Lake Baikal.org. 

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