Tucked away in the mountainous region of Siberia is Lake Baikal, the deepest pond in the world.
The water is regarded as some of the most pristine on Earth, crisp and clear. On a good day, you can see more than 120 feet into the water .~ ATAGEND That's like peering from the roof of a 12 -story building.
But this prehistoric pond, which is 20 -2 5 million years old, is more than 5, 300 feet deep at its deepest phase. Don't fell your goggles.
While many journey to Baikal to take in the majestic landscape, some attain the trip-up for a very different reason: the music.
After his wife slipped and fell on the ice on Lake Baikal, percussionist Sergei Purtyan asked her to re-create the delightful hollow boom that her fall made. They giggled but detected the ice had a remarkable tone to it.
They recorded it on their telephones and brought it back home to Irkutsk, where Sergei invited percussion group Ethnobeat to return to the place for a purposeful performance.
Like the pond itself, the tones are deep and clear, resonating with each thud, slap, and smash.
Ethnobeat held their ice jam session for hours in sub-zero temperatures, experimenting with different techniques and methods to create unique sounds.
Oddly enough, many of the tones seem to work in harmony, as if arranged on a keyboard or xylophone.
“All we had to do was to discover that place, get there, and start playing, ” Natalya Vlasevskaya, one of the members of Etnobit, told The Siberian Times. “Everything else was ready, arranged for the most perfect harmonious sound as if by some magical conductor.”
Lake Baikal stands alone as a freshwater treasure at the least, for now.
Baikal contains 20% of the Earth's freshwater. More than 1,500 animals species live in and around the massive pond, and 80% of those animals aren't received anywhere else.
That's why it was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
But like many of Earth's natural wonders, Lake Baikal is under siege from industrial and human menaces .
Despite UNESCO protections, in 2006, a potential petroleum pipeline to Asia threatened the pristine water and set the ecosystem and animals at risk. Thankfully, after extensive protests, Russian President Vladimir Putin diverted the line .
Activists from the Russian branch of Greenpeace hold flags reading “Keep Baikal alive” during a 2006 protest. Photo by Denis Sinyakov/ AFP/ Getty Images.
However, barely four years later, Putin allowed a large, rundown newspaper mill to resume operations near the pond. The outdated mill dumps garbage into Baikal, but Putin devoted it three years to clean up its act( or, three years to dump pollutants into the pond without repercussion ).
Just last autumn, National Geographic reported multiple cases of green gunk disrupting the lake's ecosystem. Though scientists have yet to confirm a cause, they suspect nutrients are flowing into the water from fertilizer or human garbage .
Baikal can remain of the world's most majestic, isolated, beautiful places, but only if we protect it.
Surrounded by lush hiking paths, home to thousands of animals and native plants, and an important source of freshwater, Lake Baikal is a place we can't afford to lose. Whether they're close by or a world away, we all need to speak up and protect these natural wonders.
If not for the plants and animals that call it home, do it for the beautiful music. Because there's genuinely nothing else like it on Earth.
Hear it for yourself with this video from Ethnobeat.
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