There is probably no one in Buryatia, who hasn`t heard about the mysterious lake Sobolkho, which has a reputation of ?fear`s residence?. This may seem unbelievable but the precise depth of the lake is still unknown, besides, the area surrounding the lake is infamous for the facts of people and domestic animals` disappearance. They all are considered drowned although no body has ever been got from the bottom of the lake; moreover, animals drowned there were sometimes found in other waters and ponds. Local witnesses claim that there is also bright pink light which appears over the lake every night and is thought of as souls of the drowned people and animals asking for help to find peace in sepulchral life.
The natives have deemed the lake as bewitched for a long time and tried to propitiate its dwellers, but scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences (the RAS) stick to the opinion that Sobolkho is a classic example of natural geopathogenic zone, linked with peculiar structure of Earth crust on this territory.
Aureole of death has surrounded the lake since mid centuries, but only in recent years the number of victims has been decreasing, mostly because more and more people are trying to avoid Sobolkho like a plague, and local children are forbidden to approach the lake.
Suspicious stories attracted attention of scientists of the RAS, and they organized researching expeditions to Sobolkho to find out its depth. The lake was about 30 metres in diameter, with almost no plants around and ice-cold dark water. The scientists managed to measure depth in several spots of Sobolkho, with the maximum result 13 metres, which was undoubtedly impressive for such small lake. However, the fall didn?t reach the bottom in some other places which fundamentally puzzled the scientists.
Nevertheless, the lake had witnessed one more experimental research prior to the expedition held by the RAS` scientists: in 1995 a group of amateur divers arrived to Sobolkho in hope to find the key to the conundrum. They endlessly sank into water, but the efforts were in vain. Many of the divers were about to face the death: for instance, one of the brave expedition members dived down so deeply, that he was sucked in by an underwater swirl. Later he found himself on the river-bank of Vitim located several hundred metres from the lake. This shed some light on the mysterious nature of Sobolkho: the lake was admitted through, and the evidence of the underwater channel connecting the lake and the river Vitim could be considered proved.
300 horses and 500 cows have been lost in the lake within the past ten years. Human victims are not an exception too: 25 people died in Sobolkho`s waters during 1999-2000. The lake still leaves a lot of questions: how long will people and animals get lost in its waters and how incredible is the statement that the lake is bottomless? All people inhabiting the territories near Sobolkho simply believe that the lake has no bottom. The approximate suggested depth is 250 metres ? deeper there is only uncertainty?