Muscat Daily

OLD­EST AND COLD­EST LAKE

- Lake Baikal · Oman · Pacific Ocean · Russia · UNESCO

that Lake Baikal has a strange way of sens­ing good and evil in peo­ple and treats them ac­cord­ingly) be­gan com­ing to mind in an eerie way.

She, how­ever, never ex­pected the wa­ter of the most an­cient lake to be so for­giv­ing that she could vividly watch var­i­ous types of crus­taceans, fish and other res­i­dents of the lake float by. This was Laila’s re­minder that Baikal was not merely a body of wa­ter, but an an­cient lively en­tity with a soul, a source of end­less life.

Story worth telling

Oxy­gen bub­bles were im­printed and carved in the frozen sheets of ice above her head. And as she came up to the sur­face, bid­ding goodbye to a body of wa­ter with mil­lions of years of his­tory, she felt an in­de­scrib­able joy, know­ing that her story would im­pact gen­er­a­tions of young girls and women to come.

“This div­ing ex­pe­ri­ence taught me that, in order to prop­erly ap­pre­ci­ate the vast cre­ations of the earth, we must get com­fort­able with the idea of the un­known. The earth was cre­ated for ev­ery­thing to co­ex­ist har­mo­niously - hu­mans are only a small part of this sys­tem - and I re­alised that as soon I hit the wa­ter,” said Laila who is cur­rently pur­su­ing her pas­sion as a ge­ol­o­gist, work­ing with strate­gic and pre­cious metals in the min­ing in­dus­try of Oman.

Done with this dream, Laila has now set her eyes on the Pa­cific Ring of Fire (a ma­jor area in the basin of the Pa­cific Ocean where many earth­quakes and vol­canic erup­tions oc­cur). She’s also plan­ning to re­turn to Rus­sia to visit the Val­ley of Gey­sers in Kam

Lake Baikal, lo­cated in south­ern Siberia, is the largest source of fresh­wa­ter on Earth, containing 23% of the world’s fresh wa­ter. It is also con­sid­ered the clear­est and ge­o­log­i­cally the old­est lake on the planet, its age es­ti­mated at 25-30 mil­lion years. It is also the deep­est lake on Earth, and is es­ti­mated to grow even deeper in the fu­ture. It is home to over two thou­sand plant and an­i­mal species, many of which are en­demic to the re­gion and evolved over mil­lions of years. It was de­clared a World Her­itage Site by UNESCO in 1996. chatka penin­sula.

As a piece of ad­vice to young girls in Oman, Laila says, “Mind over mat­ter. There's a whole world out there that's yet to be dis­cov­ered. The ‘box’ we live in is cre­ated by the fear and lim­i­ta­tions we im­pose on our­selves. It is just that - a box - and you have the power to step out of it, when­ever you want to!”

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