See the world as seals do with a dive under Lake Baikal’s ice (PHOTOS)

Most divers seek spectacular underwater flora and fauna, but for many that plunge into the chilly waters of Lake Baikal in winter, it's the ice that plays first fiddle.
 If you can’t decide whether it’s worth visiting Siberia in winter, then Baikal ice diving might be what puts you over the edge.
Baikal, the world's largest freshwater lake turns into an ice kingdom in winter.
Nekrasov has explored most major underwater destinations, but insists that Baikal has something special that the other places don’t.
 It's warmer under the ice at about 0 degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit), which is not bad compared to the –20 (-4°F) temperatures found above ground.
Baikal's wildlife might seem less fanciful than what you can find in tropical seas at first glance, but it really is spectacular with hundreds of endemic invertebrates. The luckiest travelers might even encounter the rare Baikal seal.
Baikal freezes completely only in mid January. Locals advise planning a diving safari in March when the packed ice achieves its maximum strength.
When a solid meter (3.3 ft) of ice is under your feet, it's safe to drive a car on the surface.
The icy surface of Baikal is full of hummocks, small ridges that form in ice fields. Due to the great day and night temperature variations, the ice expands and creates peculiar icy landforms including hills, caves, grottos and labyrinths.
The Baikal ice is always in motion and these transformations can be perilous.
The water in Baikal lacks chemicals and is close in purity to a distilled liquid. Its transparency is impressive: at one meter thick, you can see-through the ice just like glass, which makes for amazing photos.

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