Siberia, the “sleeping land”

This article is also available in: Italiano

One of the most incredible lands in the world, home to an incredible ethnic and natural heritage, is now in danger. We hope that this will make you look at the legendary Siberia from a different point of view and that it will know how to enhance its incredible treasures.

Siberia, 9% of the land

The name “Siberia” seems to have origins in the Siberian Tatar and would roughly mean “the sleeping land”; the truth, however, is that the area is so vast that there are many peoples who have attributed this primacy to themselves. The area of Siberia is in fact one of the largest in the globe, so much so that it occupies 77% of the Russian surface and even 9% of the emerged lands. Of course, this if we consider everything in historical terms, otherwise “only” the federal district of Siberia should be taken into consideration, which has its maximum center in Novosibirsk.

Mosque in Siberia

The historical one extends from the Ural mountains to the Pacific, from the Altai and Saiani mountains to the Arctic, covering 13.1 million square kilometers; calculate that the whole of Italy is just 301,000 km. Some of the most incredible natural places in the world are still located in this vast area, as well as an impressive ethnic vastness. Suffice it to say that the first traces of Turks and Mongols are found in these areas, without counting the indigenous populations and those who founded empires in these places. Tatars, Buryatia but also Russians who, with the conquest of these territories, laid the foundations of their colonialism. With the arrival of the Slavic people, in fact, part of the population underwent a process of assimilation which, in some cases, led to tensions and social problems. To be honest, it must be said that, thanks to the new arrivals, living conditions have definitely improved, pushing the area to be better prepared than, for example, the Caucasus.

Record upon record

As previously mentioned, Siberia is an incredibly vast territory and within it some real natural wonders. Just think of the “only” plains such as the lowland of western Siberia and the plateau of the central one. These places cover respectively 4 and 3.5 million square km, surfaces on which the eye can literally travel far. In many of these territories, in fact, few trees grow and this also physically frees the gaze. Not only, however, plains, in Siberia there are also several mountains, some of which with absolutely remarkable heights. In addition to the mountain ranges already mentioned, in fact, there are also volcanoes such as the Ključevskaja Sopka of Kamčatka which even reaches 4750 meters.

The legendary lake Baikal

To be even more incredible, however, are undoubtedly the waters that nourish the lands. In fact, in Siberia there are many of the largest rivers and streams in Russia and in the whole world. Rivers such as the Ob ‘(3680km), whose water basin is as large as 10 times Italy, the Irtysh (4248 km) and the Yenisei (4287 km), the 5th longest river in the world. The latter, then, is very particular as it connects to Lake Baikal, one of the most legendary lakes in the world. It is the one with the largest volume of water ever, as well as being the deepest (1637 meters) and the largest to be housed in a single state. The most incredible thing about this lake, then, are its extraordinary properties, which have made it an incredible range for various species, making it home to various endemics. Many, in fact, beasts and plants that have found living conditions here never suspected before, transforming this area into a sort of “Northern Amazon”.

Like the Amazon rainforest

Precisely with the Amazon, the Siberian forests are burning, with truly incredible numbers. According to the Russian authorities, in fact, as of July 31st, 3 million hectares have gone up in smoke, an area the size of Belgium. However, according to Greenpeace, fires have devastated 12 million hectares since the beginning of the year, something really hard to imagine.


Even today, the situation is difficult to contain due to the particularly dry climate of 2019 and the fact that many of these places are sparsely inhabited. All this has led to an environmental tragedy of huge portions, still unresolved at this time.

The week dedicated to the environment continues, tomorrow some “sacred” places.

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