The Baikal Museum of ISC SB RAS
Working hours: 10-00 – 17-00 (in winter), 09-00 – 18-00 (in summer)
The Baikal Museum is a public noncommercial institution established in 1993 and engaged in the collection, storage, research, and demonstration of material evidence and information related to Lake Baikal and its fauna and flora. All scientific activities of the museum, aimed at studying of the historical past of Lake Baikal from its creation until today, held under the motto: "Exploring the past, understand the present and predict the future." Its staff members are involved in international studies and programs aimed at preserving the purity of the Baikal water and ecological tourism development, actively promote modern knowledge of the lake, give lectures, take the participants of various conferences, symposia, meetings and conferences held in Eastern Siberia. By the way, the Baikal Museum is annually visited by over 150 thousand people.
The exhibition devoted to the origins of life and studies of Lake Baikal began to develop in 1925, simultaneously with the organization of the Baikal Expedition of Russian Academy of Sciences. Since 1928, it is enriched and improved in the Baikal Limnological Station of Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Since 1961 after the organization of the Limnological Institute of the USSR, its basis is Baikal fish, stuffed birds and animals, samples of sediments and minerals of Baikal, models, and various artifacts found during scientific field trips.
Since June 2004 a truly unique structure works in the museum - the Limnological Aquarium, which offers visitors a glimpse into the underwater world of Lake Baikal and to see the living omul, grayling, bream, sturgeon, goldilocks, burbot, carp, catfish, pike and crucian, as well as crustaceans, sponges and mollusks in conditions close to natural.
To the present day the Baikal aquarium is the only of its kind, because no aquarium in the world has such a low temperature: - 4 degrees. Water is pumped in it four times a day from 500 meters depth from a special pumping station, built near the Museum. All the 11 aquariums are designed in such a way as to be able to give careful consideration to the underwater inhabitants of the lake, including the two seals, for which almost ideal conditions have been created - two interconnecting rooms with ice floes.
In November 2006, the museum opened a new interactive (virtual) exhibition - "Bathyscaphe", designed for the simultaneous visits of 16 persons. The exhibition presents a stylized interior of the submarine room with nine portholes, in which computer displays are installed. Shooting of the dives to different depths of the lake are broadcasted through them during 15 minutes. With the help of special computer programs the illusion of a real dive is created. This method gives an opportunity to join an interactive journey through the underwater slope and bottom; see how Baikal densely populated: there are also crustaceans and mollusks, and seals. In addition, viewers can see the unique phenomenon of nature – gidrovent: when the bottom of the lake is slowly seeping water saturated with methane, and in which colonies of white bacteria live. The exhibition uses original information technology that will create the effect of "combined image", where each window shows its picture and gives the impression of volume. Video is accompanied by sound effects.
Visiting the Museum with a guided tour takes about 1-1.5 hours. In the museum kiosk you can buy a variety of printed materials about Lake Baikal, audio and video.