Monster in Lake Baikal

As we have learned in class, Lake Baikal is the largest lake in the world; it is home to many species of plants and animals. This site explains why it is no surprise that a possible lake monster resides somewhere in the depths of this enormous freshwater lake. There have been many eyewitnesses to what is described as a “sturgeon-like monstrosity” with a cross between a seal-like mammal. Some theories of origin include the land locking of the beast within the lake as a result of the last ice age, possibility of a sea-serpent swimming up one of the many rivers or streams that feed into Lake Baikal, or the most popular of all theories, a remarkable mutation caused by the pollutants released into the Lake. The Baikalsk Pulp & Paper Mill is the largest contributor of pollution into the lake, this company “has dumped approximately 210,000 cubic meters of untreated waste into Lake Baikal every day since 1966.” Though scientists have not been able to apprehend and study this unknown monster, the possibility of its existence is highly likely since the bottom of Lake Baikal has not been explored to this day, which may contain many undiscovered species.

2 thoughts on “Monster in Lake Baikal

  1. This is a really interesting article looking at Lake Baikal. Its interesting to think of whether or not this ‘monster’ is real or if its just a product of a society’s beliefs and imagination. The Lake is obviously very culturally important to Russians, maybe they want confirmation of this lake being almost mystic. While we know that it has many new and undiscovered species, its cool to think that one way be of such a huge proportion to be called a monster. Its also interesting to see how current events surrounding the lake can lead to (if nothing more than a rumor) a ‘monster’ that has been created/evolved in this ecosystem. Also, if this monster is a product of mutations from the dumped chemicals, its a little scary to think that 20% of our worlds natural water resources are there and what that could mean for future generations of both wildlife and human beings who depend (and will depend in the future) on this lake.

  2. This article is interesting! I am just curious if the monstrous species really exists or someone created it so that people can think twice before harming the lake. By saying that there are undiscovered species out there, people will hopefully consider their pollution not only to the lake, but also to the rare and mysterious species.

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