Lake Labyngkyr

Lake Labyngkyr

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Monster of Lake Labyngkyr

Lake Labyngkyr is located in the remote forests of Yakutia in the Russia's northeast territories. The legend of some strange creature have been circulating for centuries. Locals simply refer to him as Labyngkyr Devil. If it wasn't for testimony of well respected scientists that would probably remain ignored as one of many legends of the local natives.


Geographic data

The lake was formed on the site of the central moraine amphitheater on the Sordonokhi plateau of the upper reaches of the Indigirka as a result of the damming of the river by the terminal moraine. The lake is located at an altitude of 1020 m above sea level, has the shape of a rectangle elongated from north to south, 14.3 long and about four kilometers wide. The maximum width reaches 4.14 km. The average depth of the lake is up to 52.6 m. At the same time, there is an anomalous crack at the bottom of the lake, which increases the depth to 75-80 m. The transparency of the water is up to 10 m (in the northern part). The water temperature even on the hottest summer days does not exceed 9 °C, the bottom temperature is from 1.3 to 2 °C. The water in the lake, despite the great frosts in winter (up to -50 degrees), freezes very slowly, which remains a mystery to scientists. The shores of the northern part of the lake are boulder-pebbly, the central part is rocky, and the southern part is gently sloping, composed of large-block colluvial material. The lake is located in one of the coldest places in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Labynkyr River of the same name (a tributary of the Tuora-Yuryakh and Indigirka) flows into the lake and flows out through an ice non-melting dam. There are three islands on the lake, one of which, about 30 m in diameter, 5-6 m high, located exactly in the center of the lake, according to the stories of local residents, has a strange property to disappear under water from time to time. However, the water level in the lake is practically unchanged and this behavior of the island is probably an optical phenomenon like a mirage.


Lake legend

The local Yakuts believe that some huge animal lives in the lake - the "Labynkyr Devil", as they call it. According to the descriptions of the Yakuts, this is something of a dark gray color with a huge mouth. The distance between the eyes of the "devil" is equal to the width of a raft of ten logs. According to the legend, the “devil” is very aggressive and dangerous, attacks people and animals, and is able to go ashore.

Scientists became interested in the Labynkyr monster after the report of the geologist V.I. Tverdokhlebov, who observed a large moving object in the lake. A number of expeditions, however, did not bring any convincing results.

From the records of the expedition of V. Tverdokhlebov on July 30, 1953:
The object floated quite close. It was something alive, some kind of animal. It moved in an arc: first along the lake, then straight towards us. As it drew closer, a strange numbness that made me feel cold inside took over me. A dark-gray carcass, the eyes of an animal, slightly towered above the water, and something like a stick was sticking out of the body ... We saw only a small part of the animal, but a huge massive body was guessed under the water ...

After the scientific interest in Labynkyr and its mysterious inhabitant faded in the 70s, the only inhabitant of those places was a certain Trotskyist fisherman named Alyams, who was exiled to Yakutia during the repressions and did not want to return. It was his incredible stories about the sacrifices he allegedly made to the devil that rekindled curiosity in the late 80s. In 1993, Alyams fell seriously ill and was taken to the nearest hospital. In delirium, he said that Labynkyr would not forgive him for separation and would kill him. The fisherman was returned to the lake, where he died suddenly.

Cryptozoologists put forward various hypotheses regarding the nature of the "devil": a giant pike, a relic reptile or an amphibian.

Locals also reported sightings of the "devil" in the nearby Gateway Lake, but an expedition to this lake was able to prove that there were no monsters in it.



In 2005, the TV program "Searchers" organized an expedition to the lake, during which they conducted a series of studies and measurements. In particular, with the help of an echo sounder, an anomalous crack was detected at the bottom of the lake, and with the help of a deep-sea telesonde, remains of the jaws and vertebrae of animals were found at the bottom.
In February 2013, a dive was made to the bottom of the lake, the air temperature on the surface is −46 °C, the water temperature is +2 °C. The organizer was the Federation of Underwater Sports of Russia and the Russian Geographical Society, the expedition was called the Pole of Cold. The main objective of the project was to study the flora and fauna of Labynkyr, as well as testing the capabilities of the human body in extreme conditions. The researchers took water samples from different depths of Labynkyr, as well as soil samples from the bottom of the lake.
From February 26 to March 14, 2014, the second stage of the expedition was carried out.
In 2016, an employee of the Russian Geographical Society, an extreme traveler from Voronezh Andrey Solovyov spent more than 100 days on the lake, collected evidence from local residents and a helicopter pilot who saw from the air a reptile about 5-7 m long. Andrey Solovyov also noted damage to the networks (multi-meter holes), the origin of which is difficult to explain, if we exclude the impact of a very large animal.