Shape of Water

Patchwork of Russia's Bodies of Water

Mirror-like lakes, majestic lowland and mountain rivers, grand glaciers and snowfields, kilometers of mystic swamps, picturesque waterfalls, mind-blowing geysers — probably all types of bodies of water can be found on the Russian map. Most of them are unique and able to satisfy the thirst for adventures of any traveler. We've collected the most interesting facts about the water of Russia for you.

Russia's water resources are among the richest ones in the world: the country has over 20% of world's freshwater reserves. It's the only country bathed by the waters of 14 seas: the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea, the White Sea, the Pechora Sea, the Kara Sea, the East Siberian Sea, the Chukchee Sea, the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Shantar Sea, the Sea of Japan, and the Laptev Sea. The fifteenth sea, which the country has an outlet to, is the Caspian Sea. Though according to formal characteristics, this biggest enclosed water body on the planet is an undrained lake. Mirror-like lakes, majestic lowland and mountain rivers, grand glaciers and snowfields, kilometers of mystic swamps, picturesque waterfalls, amazing geysers — probably all types of bodies of water can be found on the Russian map. Most of them are unique and able to satisfy the thirst for adventures of even the most sophisticated traveler..

Lakes

If to set a goal of making a list of country's greatest water attractions, it would be surely topped by Lake Baikal — the deepest lake in Russia, the deepest freshwater lake in the world, and one of the oldest lakes on Earth: it was formed in the Mesozoic Era around 25 million years ago. The lake is sort of a global basin with almost one-fifth of all freshwater reserves of the planet. Water is so pure there that one can safely drink it directly from the lake. Lake Baikal eagerly surprises and delights tourists all year round. Taking a trip to the famous lake is a great opportunity to visit the old Siberian city of Irkutsk that was founded in 1661..

Very few people know that Russia not only has the purest, but the saltiest lake on the planet as well — Lake Elton, which water has 1.5 times higher concentration of salt than the Dead Sea. Another famous salt lake — Baskunchak — is unique for its ability to provide around 80% of all table salt in Russia. In addition, there are deposits of medicinal clays on the shores of Lake Baskunchak.

Lake Baikal is sort of a global basin with almost one-fifth of all freshwater reserves of the planet. Water is so pure there that one can safely drink it directly from the lake

Rivers and Swamps

Russia is the country of full-flowing rivers, the biggest of which are the Yenisey, the Lena, the Ob, the Amur, and the Volga. The Lena River is the longest one in Russia: its length from source to mouth makes 4,260 km, while the Ob ranks first in Russia and third in the world (after the Amazon, the Kongo, and the Nile) by its basin area (2.99 million square kilometers). Each river offers many amazing things to see. Formed from Cambrian limestone that dates back more than half a billion years, the Lena Pillars are absolutely the most famous attraction. And the rivers of Russia, of course, are a gold mine for any passionate fisherman.

The world's biggest country has one of the planet's largest swamp systems — The Great Vasyugan Mire. Its area exceeds 52,000 square kilometers. The swamp is unique not only due to its size: it has an unprecedented composition of natural sites and an exquisitely complex landscape structure.

Geysers of Kamchatka

The wonders of Kamchatka are awaiting those travelers who dare to go to the most remote places of Russia. One of them is the famous Valley of Geysers. It has the second largest concentration of geysers in the world after Yellowstone National Park and is the most compact geyser field on the planet: the area of only around 4 square kilometers has more than forty geysers and fifty hot springs. Erman Glacier of Klyuchevskaya volcano group is the biggest and the only growing one in the country. Paratunskie and Malkinskie thermal springs will improve health and leave pleasant memories.

It's not an easy task even to enumerate all the water treasures of Russia. Lakes Ladoga and Onega, the Kama and Angara Rivers, Agurskie and Benevskie waterfalls, Caucasian mineral springs, Krasny Kluch Spring. The water of Russia is not only a source of life but also an inexhaustible source of impressions.

With an area of only around 4 square kilometers, the Valley of Geysers has more than forty geysers and fifty hot springs

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