3. BBC Focus Magazine

BBC Focus Magazine, October, 2007

Where would you find a lake containing one fifth of all the world"s liquid fresh water? Outside of Russia, few people have heard of Lake Baikal, and yet it really is one of the wonders of the world. This great gash in the Earth"s crust contains enough drinking water to last every human on Earth for 3000 years. At over 1600m deep and 25 million years old it holds the crown for being both the deepest and oldest lake on Earth.

Peter Thomson takes us on a journey to this spectacular place. His personal thoughts, encounters with local people and understanding of this mysterious lake are all woven into his travelogue.

The first half of the book covers wanders around the lake itself. Interspersed with Thomson"s personal experiences we learn about everything from the lake"s geology and formation to the weird and wonderful creatures that live in its depths.

Meanwhile, the second half of the book is about the journey that took him to Lake Baikal, and the draw that kept pulling him towards this spectacular place.

The book is beautifully written and his descriptions make the landscape come alive: I couldn"t help shivering when he jumps into the lake. As you travel with him you"ll be transported far, far away " the perfect antidote to a dull day at the office.

Rating 4/5

–Kate Ravilious is a science writer specialising in physical and environmental sciences


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