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A mystery of the 'bottomless' lake in Russia's Caucasus

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Nalynn Dolan Caine ▼ | November 8, 2019
A group of five lakes, hidden in Russia’s Caucasus mountains, are divided into the Lower Blue Lake and Upper Blue Lakes. Locals believe the Lower Blue Lake is bottomless, and legend has it that a ‘dragon’ lives at the bottom.
Lower Blue Lake
Russia   The source of the lake's water is the greatest mystery
Found 40 km to the south of the city of Nalchik, the Lower Blue Lake is considered unique. With a relatively small area (only 2.4 hectares), it has a depth of at least 279 meters - that's three U.S. Statues of Liberty put on top of one another - recorded by a recent expedition of scientists, but the lake may be even deeper, no one has been able to reach its bottom to date.

Not a single local ever fishes or swims here and a legend has it that a ‘dragon’ lives at the bottom.

In winter and summer, the temperature of the water on the surface of this lake is a constant plus 9.3 degrees.

The reason behind its constant water temperature is in its depth: the water that constantly comes from the bottom simply doesn’t have enough time to warm up during hot summers or cool down further in cold winters.

Even though its underground water source hasn’t yet been fully identified, 70 million liters of water flow out of it daily, giving birth to a small river.

The high concentration of hydrogen sulfide gives the water its deep aquamarine color and makes the lake uninhabitable by fish. No one, apart from crayfish gammarus and algae, could adapt to living here.

The scientists believed that the lake to be around 10,000 years old and “fed” not only by one underground water source, but from various cracks covered by stones falling from its walls.

The "bottomless" lake is clouded by many myths - from the stories about the army of Alexander the Great that allegedly drowned in it to a truck full of port wine that fell into the water in the 1930s. Coincidentally, the 2016 expedition did find a truck, however without any port wine.

The most popular ancient legend, however, tells of a dragon that was defeated here by a local hero. Hit by an arrow, the beast fell onto the mountain range and its tears of pain flooded the place around it, creating the lake.