back to article Russians probe depths of Lake Baikal

The Russians earlier today claimed a new record for "freshwater submersion" by dispatching two vessels to the deepest point of Lake Baikal - 1,680 metres (5,510 feet) beneath the surface. The expedition to southeast Siberia, consisting of the Mir-1 and Mir-2 submersibles each with a crew of three, was led from the surface by …


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  1. Peyton

    Mir submersibles, Mir space stations...

    After reading this, I can't help but wonder if, in Russia, all their Marklars are called Marklar.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    Next week's headlines:

    "Russians claim World Record for world's largest jellymould."

    "Russians claim World Record for deepest ever submersible descent in jelly."

    This could run and run, so I'm going to now.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    But they didn't find Steve Fossett

    Seabed? I thought it was a lake? Did they find a cave linking it to the ocean?

  4. Bad Beaver

    attention whores?

    7000 metres? The Trieste did 10.910 metres. In 1960. With all the "deep-sea base" stuff, one could get under the impression the Chinese might think it still _is_ 1960 though...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    >new record for "freshwater submersion"

    I could've done that with a brick.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    didn't they do that already?

    Didn't the Russians already do the worlds deepest dive a couple of years ago? Barents sea or something if i remember correctly...?

    Is it just that they're hoping to resurface with this one..?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Mir submersibles, Mir space stations...

    The Russians are Mirly engaging in a bit of eco-friendly naming.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Are they still pumping all sorts of industrial effluent into it? If so, perhaps it's to find out what's left in the way of flora and fauna.

  9. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: didn't they do that already?

    The Brent Sea, unlike Lake Baikal is a Saltwater Body, and so not a Fresh Water One, gedit now?!?!

  10. Alex
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Mir submersibles, Mir space stations...

    "Mir" in Russian means "peace", which makes it even more spooky: why would they insist so much on peaceful nature of these enterprises?

  11. Chris


    Interesting. Apparently Google Maps can't get me driving instructions from Reading to Lake Baikal. Bloody useless. Maybe I should be using Cuil instead?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    That depth isn't a record in freshwater.

  13. RW
    Paris Hilton

    Deepest Dive


    Challenger Deep, Mariana Trench (deepest water on the planet, >10Km)

    the "Trieste" (a bathyscaphe)

    "Do not ask what Wikipedia can do for you; ask what you can do for Wikipedia."

    In lieu of the Paris icon:

    I s'pose she's been the object of some deep diving too.

  14. RichardB

    20 percent?

    I see it now. They are simply trying to subtly draw attention to the fact that not only are we dependent on the Russians for Gas(and thereby electricity) but that if they succeed in buying out and running down our water processing infrastructure they will also have a monopoly on selling us freshwater!

  15. ian


    Good of the Russians to recycle the name "Mir"- over and over again. Do they also save on newsprint and letterhead by doing this? In any case they could have had a deeper dive if Baikal were not drying up due to Soviet river diversion projects back in the last century (that would be the 20th for those who haven't been keeping up).

  16. The Prevaricator


    "hosts a myriad of rare and unique species"

    Pure disgrace.

    It should of course read: "hosts myriad rare and unique species".

    Go read a dictionary, or something.

    Mine's the one with the laser-guided grammar checker in the pocket.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ JonB


    I'm crying i'm laughing so hard

    simply brilliant.

  18. Brandon

    They actually didn't make it...

    There was a discrepancy in the reported depth.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    deepest dive = deepest dive

    To non-record holders, it's all the same. To two competing groups, semantics matter. This is the deepest freshwater dive. At least for now. Next year some team will go in, dig 20 meters down into the silt and lower a submersible into the hole and then claim the deepest dive record.

  20. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    @ Bad Beaver et al...

    Trieste went down 10,910 meters. I can hold my breath at 10.911 meters for 2 minutes while freediving.

    Other than that, they tried this subsea habitat stuff before with their "Bentos" effort way before the US Sealab experiments took place. I guess they are realising that they are going to need to exploit the sea for its resources in coming years and want to be way ahead of the pack.

  21. Justin Smith
    Thumb Down

    No record here, move along, move along...

    It looks like they only made it to 1,580m, not 1,680m as originally reported.

  22. Andy Bright

    They may not have found Steve Fossett

    But they did find some curiously large egg-like things, which naturally they'll bring to the surface and allow to thaw out, late at night, in a room occupied by a single lab technician, oblivious to the cracking sound behind him..

  23. StopthePropaganda

    perhaps we can sell them..

    ..some leftover names for wacky PR nationalist projects we didn't get around to doing in the 60's and 70s? They can get something that sounds snappier, and still get to do the big parades to show the World their industrial might.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Cool. Please do. Are you going to tie the brick to your ankles or neck?

  25. Lars Silver badge


    Those "submarines" where designed and built in Finland about 20 years ago.

    (like all their Icebreakers), and yeas, no world record this time.

    Those Mirs are, however, good for much deaper waters. and very modern still.

  26. C

    20% of the worlds unfrozen freshwater?!


    seriously .. I wonder if the depths are carbonated like some of the volcanic lakes that occasionally explode in Africa?

    They explode because some of the carbonated water from the depths rises. And as it is relieved of the crushing pressure that keeps the CO2 dissolved, it begins bubbling, and rises faster, increasing the upwelling very rapidly. Then it is just like taking a bottle of carbonated beverage, shaking it up and popping the top. Note that you don't want to be within several miles of this as the heavy CO2 displaces almost all breathable air until the winds can disperse it. However by then most anything that needs to breathe has perished.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Made in Finland

    As we all know, these submersibles were designed and built in Finland, not in USSR. The piece of Nokian (of the City of Nokia) industrial history is in the design of the outer hull of Mir. The viewing sphere was made in Wärtislä yards in Turku and it was biggest of it's time. There is some rumours, that global geopolitics was involved and Wartsilä Meriteollisuus was cut in pieces because of this deal with soviets.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    But of course,,,,

    Lake Baikal is not as deep as it once was. The Russians have extracted all the water.

    If they keep it up they will be able to walk around the bottom without a submarine. (No comments please I know you can't walk around with a submarine).

    The big diving suit with lots of weights please.

  29. Den

    A lot of anger and fear here :)

    Gosh there is a lot of anger and fear here. A lot of "They" and "their" like its even scary to use the name. You can see a lot of similar comments on anti - American articles - sort of mix of "I wish they would fail, then I would laugh and would not be so scared and envious" and I hate the fact that "they" are on the up and we are on the down and we depend on "them".

    Quite aside from most of the comments being factually incorrect... I take it none of you ever visited?

  30. Anonymous Coward

    @Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    > Trieste went down 10,910 meters. I can hold my breath at 10.911 meters for 2 minutes while freediving.

    Set your locale to, oh, say, en_ZA, and tell us you can hold your breath at 10.911m -- bet you can't.

    !Paris because she probably also didn't know that some places use something other than , and . for the 1000s separator and decimal point.

  31. Colin Jackson
    Paris Hilton


    I guess the point is that the buoyancy of a submersible in fresh water will be much less than that in salt water, making it less difficult to go down but more difficult to get back up again.

    @Den: way to take people's comments too seriously, dude :)

    Paris, because I'd love to plumb her depths.

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