The mystery behind the ancient underwater kingdom in Turkey

A little history

Lake Van is known to be the largest lake in Turkey and the second largest in the Middle East. It is located in the far east of Turkey, to the south of the Armenian plateau and next to the Iranian border. The lake has no outlet but derives its water from rainfall and melting snow from the surrounding mountains. Lake Van is therefore classified as a saline soda lake because of the high salinity levels. It does not support any animal life apart from the darkh, a freshwater fish that is well adapted to a salty environment.

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The existence of Lake Van is a peculiarity that has attracted international attention for many reasons. For one, the lake was formed thousands of years ago from a volcanic eruption that blocked westward drainage to the Murat River. The volcanic activity transformed the vast basin into a lake surrounded by high mountains and without an outlet. But this is not all. At an altitude of 5,380 feet above sea level, the waters of Lake Van defy the laws of physics. In principle, water should freeze when exposed to high altitudes and low temperature. But the salty nature of this lake prevents the the water from freezing.

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