Lake Baikal, Russia
This lake is situated on the border between the Republic of Buryatia, southwestern Siberian Federal District, Russia, and Irkutsk Oblast, and it covers an area of 88,000 km2. The surface of Lake Baikal covers 31,500 km2, and it is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water reserves. Its age and isolated location have allowed it to grow into the ‘Galapagos Islands of Russia’. Therefore, it is home to the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater animals and has irreplaceable value for research on the theory of evolution.