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Mysterious Phenomena Of Lake Ladoga

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#1 В.Юрковец


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Опубликовано 11 Февраль 2014 - 11:13

BARRANTIDAS - the local name for the sounds of unknown origin, coming from the water of Lake Ladoga in the area between of the islands Valaam and Konevets. Sounds most often appear near the biggest lake depths. They frighten the fishermen and passengers of passing ships by its eerie effect (Encyclopedia of anomalous phenomena).


Hum lasts a few seconds and resembles a sound of train passing away. This phenomenon may be accompanied by seaquake and "boiling water" in dead calm that the sailors and travelers repeatedly described in different times.

Journal "Priroda” (Nature), № 5, 1988 described the mysterious phenomenon in the article "Mysterious phenomena on Lake Ladoga” by researchers B.A.Assinovskoy A.A.Nikonova (Institute of Physics of the Earth, RAS). This article summarizes both the ancient historical evidence of this phenomenon, and modern, including eyewitness, written by the authors themselves.

The first attempt, B.A.Assinovskaya A.A.Nikonov write, of scientific study of the phenomenon of Ladoga was undertaken in 1914 - after the clerk of the Valaam Monastery monk Polycarp wrote a letter to the Main Physical Observatory in St. Petersburg. In this letter, he said that “The following phenomenon is observed during the past five years, sometimes underground sounds, resembling the distant cannon shots in the southwestern and western sides of Lake Ladoga heard. This underground hum is a different degree other times it can be heard in the distance, in the lake, as if starting from the depths of the water, in rare cases, this hum is heard clearly, wafting out of the ground and mostly in the western part of Balaam. Sometimes the underground hum accompanied by barely perceptible shaking of the earth. ... In September 28 and October 9 this subterranean rumblings, heard in the western part of the island of Valaam, accompanied by a barely perceptible of soil shudder ... ".


Systematic studies failed to organize the time, but the monks were writing about the noise appearing until 1927. Total 125 such records were found. As the authors suggest, these records, and hence the phenomena, it could be more. Similar descriptions are known in the more distant past. For example, Alexandre Dumas, visited Valaam in 1858, described his impressions of barrantida.

From the article it follows that this phenomenon has been observed for centuries, several times a year. Sole scientific theories about the origin barrantidas have seismic. As the authors write, “…weak earthquakes can be sources of underground hum, if the source is located in the immediate vicinity. Power of sounds is determined by energy of push and by distance to the observer. Number of impacts depends from the wave characteristics - the passage of the longitudinal and transverse waves. It is well known that earthquakes in the epicentral area are often accompanied by a centripetal underground rumble and airglow. Seaquake and "boiling water" in complete calm sailors and travelers from different times and peoples also repeatedly described".

But the existing seismological network of highly sensitive, including Finnish, did not record earthquakes from the area of Lake Ladoga (Asinovsaya Nikonov, 1988).


And another quote from that article: “Remarkable information came from the captain of the local fleet. Ten years ago his ship on the way to Balaam (i.e. south of the island) suddenly has got into bubbling waters that is not explained by any weather conditions. It is impossible not to pay attention to all the evidence of witnesses about the site of origin of sounds - to the south-west and west of Balaam. Here is the deepest part of the lake. According to the description of one of the ship’s captain that has entered in the boiling "pot", the water in it was cold and the boiling was spread in the form of long "lanes".

I.e. cold water "boiled", therefore, any gas came out on the surface of the lake, the source of which do not have to look for, if we take into account the existence in this region of local volcanism caused by fall here a massive meteorite or asteroid (Yurkovets, 2011) .


This assumption is proved by the fact that barrantidas observed in the area of the biggest depths of the Ladoga basin, i.e. in the center of the crater of the explosion. Hence Lake Ladoga until now is a volcano in his last – fumarolic - stage. And in its depth, in the heart of the crater, a unique analogue of Kamchatka Valley Geysers and Yellowstone Park of America exists.

As you know, the volcano in the fumarolic stage do not erupts lava or ash, but all its activity occurs in the form of emitting of gas jets (probably, this explains phenomenon of "boiling lanes" on Lake Ladoga), water vapor and hot water. Highly sensitive seismological network does not fix the earthquake because barrantid reasons are not seismic.


It is known that the hydrogeological specificity of terrain has a determining influence on the ejection of water and steam. We have on Lake Ladoga extreme variant one, when fumarolic field completely is under water. This fumarolic field (if it really exists) has not yet been studied by volcanologists. Steam-gas emissions of active volcanoes in Kamchatka, which can be heard for several kilometers, or geyser’s work are remarkably similar Ladoga phenomenon. Here is an eyewitness describes of the work of “Pervenets” (“The Firstborn”)  from the Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka which is one of the largest geysers in the world: "… The geyser bowl is empty after the eruption. You can see hole on the bottom. It is channel. … After some time from the ground the hum is heard, like the sound of the engine: water begins to rise from channel, gradually filling the pool. It boils, comes to edges of the pool, rising higher and higher, spills, and finally obliquely directed column of boiling water breaks with the explosion, shrouded in thick clouds of steam. Fountain rises to a height of not less than 15-20 m".

We see in this description an amazing coincidence with sound picture of barrantidas.


In 2002, the Institute of Limnology RAS released the atlas "Lake Ladoga", which summarizes the results of years of comprehensive research Ladoga, including her depression (http://www.limno.org.ru/k8/atlas.htm). The so-called "activated structure" - Riphean graben-synclinal of the Tectonic scheme of the Atlas (by A.V.Amantov, p.44) corresponds to the deep part of Lake Ladoga. Graben-synclinal is bounded on the west, north and north-east by gradient zone of depths, and to the east and south-east dives under the sedimentary cover of the Russian platform and then goes beyond the boundaries of tectonic scheme (i.e., the regional scale of the structure is assumed).

However, a number of irreconcilable contradictions of the proposed scheme are available. One of them is the fact that this structure - graben-syncline - has Riphean (about a billion years) age, but the graben-syncline so far sharply and clearly expressed in the relief - more sharply and more clearly than the Baltic Sea Basin, whose age does not exceed 700 thousand years. Suffice to say that the depth of Lake Ladoga several times greater than the depth of the Gulf of Finland.

Of course, the age of the bottom relief of Ladoga is young. And it cannot exceed the age of the late Pleistocene because at the bottom of Lake Ladoga, glacial deposits are present only on the coastal areas (p.47) and they are not found in the center of Lake Ladoga. I.e. powerful Middle Pleistocene glaciations not furrowed Lake Ladoga although they plowed everything to the Dnieper and Oka. Consequently, Lake Ladoga in those days was not.





Fig. 1. Structural-Tectonic Scheme of Ladoga Impact-Volcanic Structure. Ellipse with vertical hatching is the most likely area to search for the fumarolic fields and geyser activity.


Assumption of the existence at the bottom of Lake Ladoga fumarolic field (s), in my opinion, has at least one important practical point. It is known that the intense emission of gases leads to a decompaction of water. This causes an intensive vertical flow.

This, in turn, may be the cause of storms observed in calm during barrantidas, and most importantly - it can be dangerous for all vessels appeared nearby, as they may not have buoyancy sufficient to remain on the surface of the decompaction. At least, in order to clarify all possible aspects of this problem, it would seriously investigate deep depression of Ladoga, in the first place for mapping potential danger zones.

While such investigation not had been carried, barrantidas warnings can be used for reduce the risk of navigation. The sound is propagated much faster than vertical flow caused by gas emissions. Hearing barrantida vessel must as soon as possible leave the deep waters.




Assinovskaya B., A., Nikonov A.,A., 1998. Mysterious phenomena on Lake Ladoga// Priroda. Moscow. 5:49-53. (In Russian)

Institute of Limnology RAS, executive Editor Rumyantsev V., A., 2002. Atlas “Lake Ladoga”. St. Petersburg. (In Russian)

Yurkovets V., P., 2011. Ladoga astroblem//Proceedings of Academy of DNA genealogy. (ISSN 1942-7484). Raleigh, N.C., Lulu. 2011. V.4. N 10. P. 1997-2018. (In Russian)

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