Baikal Zen: the strange phenomenon of a Russian lake where stones levitate on ice
At the majestic Lake Baikal in Russia, the rocks defy the laws of gravity, creating beautiful sculptures in which the human being does not intervene. There is a scientific explanation.
The lago Baikal It is the largest freshwater lake in the world. Situated in the southern part of SiberiaIt is also known by the name of The Blue Eye of Siberia or the Pearl of Asia.
Its surface is similar to that of Catalonia, but its basin covers an area the size of Spain. Not only is the largest sweet lake in the world: it is also the deepest, reaching incredible 1,680 meters deep. It was not possible to reach the bottom until 2008. It houses 20% of the fresh, unfrozen water on the planet, in addition to 1,500 species of animals. 80% are endemic to the area, that is, they only exist here. It is also the least cloudy lake in the world.
All these characteristics favor a unique phenomenon, called Baikal Zen: the stones seem to levitate in the air, as we see in the opening photo of the news. It also happens with frozen water itself:
How is it possible? It is actually a natural phenomenon that is very easy to understand, although different in the two photos.
In the case of stone, what happens is that the sun hits her, heating it and causing it to emit infrared rays, which melts the ice underneath it except in the center, as this is where the stone emits less radiation, because the heat expands first through the edges of the stone. When night falls the ice freezes the water around the stone again, leaving only a small pedestal where it is held.
In the case of the frozen water in the second photo, the sun melts the ice slightly, although here it is the wind that erodes the column, until night falls and it freezes again, leaving a little water that seems suspended in the air. But there are other curious phenomena in Lake Baikal:
What we see here is frozen methane gas, inside the lake. The gas usually emerges from the depths until it reaches the air, but in winter it freezes before it can escape, creating these curious formations.
It is not surprising that, despite its inhospitable conditions and relative isolation, the lago Baikal be one of the most desired tourist destinations in the world.