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Whale Lake
(Tianshannet) Updated: 2010-August-4 18:51:57

Southeast to Ruoqiang County deep into the Kunlun Mountains, there lies an amazing big lake. It is 37 km long from east to west, 7.6 km from south to north, occupying an area of 260 sq. km. The surface of the water is 4,780 m above sea level, and the water is 2 to 10 m deep. This tranquil lake in mountains was discovered by satellite photographing and onsite geological survey. With blue water and snowy mountains setting off each other, the shape of the lake looks just like a lying fat whale, with its head points to the east. Therefore the name Whale Lake was given.

At one-seventh of the lake in the east, there is a bank naturally formed by grits. Measuring 7.5 km long, 200 m wide and 2 to 4 m higher than the water, it divides the lake into eastern and western parts. Waters from both sides interflow through a breach at the middle of the bank. In the eastern part, plenty of water comes from melting glaciers through Yulang River to form this fresh water lake with abundant plankton. In summer, countless brown-headed gulls and ruddy shelducks flock here for food and multiplying. While in the western part,due to lacking fresh water supply and large evaporation for a long time, salt content in the water is nearly saturated. It is a lifeless lake. This strong contrast in water quality is presented by a picture of "singing and dancing birds in the east but lifeless quietness in the west." That's why Whale Lake is also called as Lake of Un and Yang.

There are twelve lake benches existing at Whale Lake, showcasing a decreasing lake area. It is of a rare kind in the world among all inland mountain lakes. Like a blue pearl in plateau embedded at the south of the Altun Nature Reserve, Whale Lake adds luster to the nature.

(SOURCES:China Intercontinental Press)Editor: zhaoqian
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