Lake Baikal is the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake, situated in the mountainous region of Siberia north of the Mongolian border. It trails for nearly 400 miles and its average depth is 744.4m (2,442 ft), while its maximum depth is 1,741m (5,712 ft). The lake is thought to be about 25-30 million years old and was formed as an ancient rift valley, where the Earth's crust continues to separate. It is home to thousands of plant and animal species that are unique to that lake region. Among the bizarre life-forms that only exist in the Baikal Lake are the golomyanka; these are pink, partly transparent fish, which serve as popular food for the seals in the region. Baikal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and continues to be an area of unmatched beauty, given the clarity and tranquility of the lake and the majestic mountains that surround it.