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What to Do When You’re Stranded in Siberia

July 7, 2013

Need a refreshing break from these hot summer days? Watch this percussionist quartet at play on frozen Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia. All the sounds you hear emanate from the ice crystals encrusting the lake.

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Lake Baikal is thought to be the oldest (20-25 million years) lake in the world, and the deepest. It contains 20% of all fresh running water on the planet, according to UNESCO. Evolutionary biologists and conservationists prize the lake for its extreme biodiversity, protected by its isolation.

Ancient legends about Lake Baikal and its mystical surroundings abound. Sacred Olkhon Island is said to be the center of the Mongolian shamanic world. Every March, many believe, a portal to another dimension opens near Mount Erd.  The mountain is also thought to be the burial ground of Genghis Khan. In 2000, an ancient festival of indigenous peoples was revived after a century’s hiatus, calling people  every fourth year to participate in ancient ceremonial dances.

For more about Lake Baikal, go to baikalstory.com (translation tool required).

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