There are a huge number of naturally formed swamps on Earth. These are some of the most dangerous places in the world - those who get into the swamp have practically no chance to get out of it without special skills or outside help. Among them there are also their own record holders. So what is the largest swamp?
The largest swamp in the world is the Big Vasyugan bog, which is located in the center of the Siberian Federal District and has an area of 53 thousand square kilometers. The size of the Siberian giant is 21% larger than the area of Switzerland and stretches for 570 and 320 kilometers from west to east and from north to south, respectively.
Scientists' studies have shown that the Vasyugan swamp arose more than 10,000 years ago and still continues to grow, capturing the surrounding lands on the principle of deserts.
Huge areas of the Vasyugan bog are located on the territory of the Tomsk, Novosibirsk and Omsk regions, between the largest rivers of Siberia - the Irtysh and Ob. There are about 800 lakes on them, as well as many streams and rivers. Cloudberries, cranberries and blueberries grow in absolutely deserted areas of the unique bog, and there you can also find rare and endangered life forms - ptarmigan, reindeer, otter, mink, wolverine, and so on. In addition, in the bowels of the Vasyugan giant there is a colossal amount of peat - almost 2% of all its world reserves.
The benefits of the Vasyugan phenomenon
The Vasyugan bog is not only a unique natural phenomenon - it also brings invaluable benefits to the environment. Its most important function is considered to be the purification of the atmosphere, which is performed by this giant natural filter. Toxic substances are absorbed by bog peat, which binds carbon and thus prevents the development of the greenhouse effect.
Due to its phenomenal characteristics, the Vasyugan bog saturates the air with oxygen and is an ecologically safe place.
In addition, the record-breaking swamp is also of economic interest - the amount of explored peat reserves in it is more than one billion tons. However, with the development of the mining industry, the fauna and flora of the bogs was under serious threat. The Vasyugan bog is also polluted by the second stages of the Baikonur launch vehicles, which are dumped into this area and violate the ecology of the territory with rocket fuel components.
To date, the unique swamp has been declared a nature reserve by the efforts of the Tomsk region administration, and in the future it is planned to assign it the status of an object that is part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.