How the world's deepest lake and chilly weather created a can't-miss musical performance.

Tucked away in the mountainous region of Siberia is Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world.

The water is regarded as some of the most pristine on Earth, crisp and clear. On a good day, you can see more than 120 feet into the water. That's like peering from the roof of a 12-story building.

But this prehistoric lake, which is 20-25 million years old, is more than 5,300 feet deep at its deepest point. Don't drop your goggles.


Lake Baikal and the village of Bolshaya Rechka. Photo by Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images.

While many journey to Baikal to take in the majestic landscape, some make the trip for a very different reason: the music.

After his wife slipped and fell on the ice on Lake Baikal, percussionist Sergei Purtyan asked her to re-create the delightful hollow boom that her fall made. They laughed but discovered the ice had a remarkable tone to it.

They recorded it on their phones and brought it back home to Irkutsk, where Sergei invited percussion group Ethnobeat to return to the spot for a purposeful performance.

Image via Natalia Vlasevskaya-Ethnobeat/YouTube.

Like the lake itself, the tones are deep and clear, resonating with each thud, slap, and smash.

Ethnobeat held their ice jam session for hours in sub-zero temperatures, experimenting with different techniques and methods to create unique sounds.

All GIFs via Natalia Vlasevskaya-Ethnobeat/YouTube.

Oddly enough, many of the tones seem to work in harmony, as if arranged on a keyboard or xylophone.

"All we had to do was to discover that place, get there, and start playing," Natalya Vlasevskaya, one of the members of Etnobit, told The Siberian Times. "Everything else was ready, arranged for the most perfect harmonious sound — as if by some magical conductor."

Lake Baikal stands alone as a freshwater treasure — at least, for now.

Baikal contains 20% of the Earth's freshwater. More than 1,500 animals species live in and around the massive lake, and 80% of those animals aren't found anywhere else.

That's why it was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.


Animals like the Baikal seal, one of the only species of freshwater seal, are found only in Lake Baikal. Photo by Alexander Nemenov /AFP/Getty Images.

But like many of Earth's natural wonders, Lake Baikal is under siege from industrial and human threats.

Despite UNESCO protections, in 2006, a potential oil pipeline to Asia threatened the pristine waters and put the ecosystem and animals at risk. Thankfully, after extensive protests, Russian President Vladimir Putin diverted the line.

Activists from the Russian branch of Greenpeace hold banners reading "Keep Baikal alive" during a 2006 protest. Photo by Denis Sinyakov/AFP/Getty Images.

However, barely four years later, Putin allowed a large, rundown paper mill to resume operations near the lake. The outdated factory dumps waste into Baikal, but Putin gave it three years to clean up its act (or, three years to dump pollutants into the lake without consequence).

Just last fall, National Geographic reported multiple cases of green slime disrupting the lake's ecosystem. Though scientists have yet to confirm a cause, they suspect nutrients are flowing into the water from fertilizer or human waste.

Photo by Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images.

Baikal can remain of the world's most majestic, isolated, beautiful places, but only if we protect it.

Surrounded by lush hiking paths, home to thousands of animals and native plants, and a major source of freshwater, Lake Baikal is a place we can't afford to lose. Whether they're close by or a world away, we all need to speak up and protect these natural wonders.

If not for the plants and animals that call it home, do it for the beautiful music. Because there's truly nothing else like it on Earth.

Image via Natalia Vlasevskaya-Ethnobeat/YouTube.

Hear it for yourself with this video from Ethnobeat.


Most Shared
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular