According to the Voice of Russia, a statement by the Russian Geographical Society (RGO) said the scientific expedition has made the first plunge in the waters of Yakutia's Lake Labynkyr. The head of the RGO underwater research team Dmitry Shiller, went down to the bottom of one of the world's coldest lakes in the remote Yakutia region of Russia's Siberia, reportedly the first time a man has reached the bottom of the lake.
The Daily Mail reports that Shiller led the Russian Geographical Society mission to the lake that averages 170ft in depth and has an underwater crevice reaching down to 262ft. According to the Siberian Times, Lake Labynkyr is located 5000 kilometers east of Moscow, 60 kilometers away from the town of Oymyakon, "the coldest place on earth." The divers went down under temperatures of about minus 42 degree Celsius.
The Siberian Times reports the air temperature in the region drops down to minus 89 degrees Celsius in winter. The lake is unique because unlike other lakes in the area, Lake Labynkr never freezes.
The Daily Mail reports the lake maintains a temperature of at least plus 2 degrees Celsius on the surface, and It has no plant life. A theory that seeks to explain why Lake Labynkr never freezes is that the water is warmed from below by a fissure in the Earth's crust.
According to the Voice of Russia, the members of the team said the expedition intended to take video footage of the bottom of the Lake and collect samples of water, plants and animal life. The team said that while using an underwater scanner they discovered jaws and skeleton of a large animal at the bottom. The news fueled stories of discoveries of the "Siberian Loch Ness monster" which the native Evenk and Yakut people claim lives in the water.
Russian academics say that tales of the monster, said to measure up to 33 feet in length, have been told in 19th century Siberia before legends of the Scottish Nessi that are claimed to date back to the 1930s. Last year a picture emerged that some said showed "Nesski" poking its head out of water.
|Geologist Viktor Twerdokhlebov|
The Herald Sun reports locals call the legendary creature the Devil. Local fishermen tell tales of a creature that lives in the lake and overturns boats, wailing when it attacks.
Viktor Tverdokhlebov, a member of the expedition, told the Siberian Times: "There have been all sort of hypothesises about what kind of creature it could be: a giant pike, a relic reptile or an amphibia. We didn't manage to prove or to disprove these versions... we managed to find remains of jaws and skeleton of some animal."
The Siberian Times reports that recently, images emerged from a scientific trip to the lake in 2006. The images were recorded on a Hummingbird Piranha MAX 215 Portable fish-finder at a depth of 138 to 197 feet. A member of the 2006 expedition told the Siberian Times: "I switched off the 'Fish ID' and we watched just pure scanning. Soon we registered a shadow some 15-17 meters under our boat, it was about 6.5 meters long. It was pretty clear, it was not a fish and not a tree. There cannot be fish that big, and a log would have been registered in a different way. How can it swim under the water?
Associate Professor Lyudmila Emeliyanova, of Moscow State University also reported a strange sighing during an expedition about a ten years ago: "It was our fourth or fifth day at the lake when our echo sounding device registered a huge object in the water under our boat. It was clearly alive and too large to be one of the dozen or so known fish species in the lake. The object was very dense, of homogeneous structure, surely not a fish nor a shoal of fish, and it was above the bottom. I was very surprised but not scared nor shocked, after all we did not see this animal, we only registered a strange object in the water. But I can clearly say - at the moment, as a scientist, I cannot offer you any explanation of what this object might be. I can't say we literally found and touched something unusual there but we did register with our echo sounding device several seriously big underwater objects, bigger than a fish, bigger than even a group of fish. This mysterious and very deep lake still has some secret to tell us.”The Herald Sun reports that so convinced was Emeliyanova that there was some creature lurking under the water that she has called for a fresh scientific mission to investigate." The Siberian Times reports there have been speculations about what might be lurking under the lake. Some have suggested "a school of ichthyosaurs, prehistoric marine reptiles resembling dolphins or sharks, or plesiosaurs...
Another version has speculated that killer whales could have become marooned in Labynkyr." Emeliyanova said: "Personally, I do believe that when the information about something strange circulates among local people for so many years, it just can't be groundless, it means something is there. I know the local people very well - they are ingenuous but they do not lie... I have been on a dozen expeditions to this region and I can say I know the character of local people quite well. They are emotional - but are not intended to show their emotions and they are very true and honest by nature, often more honest than is necessary. This is why I am not ready to reject all these stories."
She also considers as significant, the fact that all the stories about the "Siberian Loch Ness" monster relate solely to two lakes out of more than 800,000 across this giant region: "There are many lakes in Yakutia and around the Indigirka River, hundreds of them, big and small, their shores are more or less populated, but all the talk is about Labynkyr and Vorota lakes, and it has gone on for many dozens of years. It makes us think about it. And these stories about the local monster are older than those about the Loch Ness monster."