Dead Lake in Kazakhstan, mysterious places

Dead lake

Near the village of Gerasimovka, Kazakhstan, there is a small lake, 100 meters long and 60 meters wide, called Lake Dead.

In the eastern part of Kazakhstan, vast territories of which are steppe zones and picturesque landscapes, there is a very unusual body of water – Dead Lake. It is small in size, located in a mountainous area away from settlements, but despite the idealistic landscape surrounding it, the lake has a bad reputation.

There are several legends associated with Dead Lake. According to one of them, about a century ago, a groom, suspecting his beloved of infidelity, went so mad that in a fit of jealousy, he drowned his innocent wife-to-be in the lake. This was the first unfortunate event associated with a body of water. Further many strange incidents were attributed to the evil spells of the lake and even recognized it as an anomalous zone of Kazakhstan.

The natives living not far from Dead Lake believe it to be cursed and try to avoid it, and strictly forbid their children to play near it, much less go in the water and bathe. It is believed that one who has entered the water can never come out of it again, as those who carelessly swim in the lake are dragged to the bottom by the dead, and that is why it is forbidden to enter the water.

Asking about the Dead Lake residents of nearby settlements, everyone can find some scary story related to the lake.

Near the Dead Lake incredible events happen: people disappear, and then they are found. At the same time, they find themselves in different places, and sometimes quite far from Dead Lake or their homes. Some remember anything about what happened, and some just fall out of real life for a while. Locals are sure that some incomprehensible devilry is going on at Dead Lake, and the name of the reservoir itself is an omen, which does not bode well.

Near the village of Gerasimovka, in the Taldykurgan region of Kazakhstan, the lake is small – a hundred meters long and sixty wide.

But if you set aside all the legends and beliefs, and look at this body of water from a skeptical side, what can be seen unusual in this lake, except for the intimidating name? First of all, it is an unusual property of the water, which remains icy-cold at any time of the year and even in the summer heat. Although other bodies of water in the region, in the summer under the scorching sun noticeably dry up, and sometimes even dry out, turning into a small puddle. The water of the lake is not capable of supporting life. Dead Lake has no fish, no other water inhabitants, no water insects, no algae and other vegetation. Perhaps it is the unlivability of the water that forms the basis of its name.

There is an assumption that at the bottom of the lake there is a crevice, which emits toxic gas, and it is the poison that affects all life. However, detailed studies have not been carried out and no answers have been obtained. People sometimes drown in Dead Lake. As a rule, they are careless tourists who are not aware of the ban on bathing in this body of water, or, on the contrary, are spurred on by this ban.

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Divers who have tried to explore Dead Lake say it is impossible to stay under water for long.

Separating the truth from the far-fetched is sometimes very difficult, but common sense is ready to argue with the toxicity of the water, and with the impossibility of exploring the lake for a cleft at its bottom.

Returning to the tourists traveling through the expanses of Kazakhstan, many of them have been in the mountainous area near the lake, camped, quite successfully camped next to Dead Lake, bathed in it, swam and even swam across, and used the water from the reservoir for cooking and hot drinks. The conclusion suggests itself, the water cannot be toxic for some people and not for others.

Explain what exactly is happening in the vicinity of Dead Lake and failed, but you can say with certainty that this is one of the mystical places on the planet, a kind of anomalous zone.

The house of a prehistoric lizard, a dead pond and a pond without a bottom. What legends walk about the lakes of Kazakhstan

Legends, tales, mystical stories are an indispensable attribute of long journeys, when people leave their familiar surroundings. It is a peculiar attempt to answer the questions, which cannot be explained by the modern science. together with will tell you about the places in Kazakhstan that attract travelers with their mysticism.

Almost every corner of the country has its own stories that attract explorers. This time we will tell you about mysterious lakes, which are attributed with anomalous properties.

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Healing Living Lake Kok-Kol

From the Kazakh language, this body of water translates simply as “Blue Lake”. However, there are a lot of legends around this place in Zhambyl region. Locals believe that the body of water behaves very strangely. On its surface, as well as in the depths of water, according to them, there are various anomalies. Researchers, including ufologists, often come here in the hope of unraveling its mystery.

What is interesting, scientists cannot explain to the end why the lake Kok-Kol never dries up and its level never drops, which is contrary to the laws of nature, because the lake is undrained, it is not connected with any rivers and other bodies of water. It is assumed that the reservoir is connected with underground springs. Its water always remains transparent and cold.

Researchers of anomalous zones of the Earth claim that Kok-Kol practically lives its own life. Sometimes the silent smooth surface of the reservoir literally starts “boiling” for no reason. Suddenly, whirlpools appear in different parts of the body of water, and everything on its surface gets sucked in. Most often, debris falls into them, which then simply disappears into the depths.

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Locals believe that Kok-Kol Lake is taken care of by a water spirit, which they have nicknamed Aydakhar. It is believed that the moment the “serpent” comes to the surface, the water becomes curative and can be drawn. However, bathing in the lake is prohibited.

The shepherds tell chilling stories about the lake, which devours birds, wild animals and even livestock. Sometimes strange hissing, growling, or squelching sounds are heard from Kok-Kol. Some researchers and divers believe that there is a huge prehistoric snake up to 15 meters long in the waters of Kok-Kol. It guards the livestock or wild animals that come to the lake for watering.

Approximately such a creature, according to legends, lives in the waters of Lake Kok-Kol, photo from

According to various legends, sometimes a creature that looks more like an anaconda emerges from the water. It makes loud hissing and growling noises. But there is also a version that the scary sounds are made by the lake itself due to the processes occurring at the bottom.

One day a group of amateur divers from Irkutsk decided to explore the bottom of the lake. The young people repeatedly tried to dive to the very bottom of Kok-Kol, but they failed. One diver disappeared during the research. As it turned out, the lake dragged the diver into an underground cave, and then a violent rushing stream brought the explorer to the surface of the lake in a different place.

The case remained a solitary one, but in spite of this the lake continues to attract tourists and explorers from all over the world.

In 2013 stalkers from Russia, Roman Fadeev and Evgeny Krasnovsky, also recorded strange sounds. They decided to explore the lake after reading about the observations of a local local historian. In some places, the absence of the bottom was recorded, which led the researchers to assume that there was a network of caves at the bottom. Hence, the theory that relict ichthyosaur lizards live in the lake probably comes from this. The noise that was recorded on the lake at night resembled loud whistling and wheezing noises. At that, the stalkers experienced a paralyzing fear.

Also noteworthy is the fact that Loch Ness (Scotland) Lake, known for its Nessie monster, and Coke Cove have one thing in common – both bodies of water are of glacial origin.

Where is it located:

The lake is located in a beautiful mountainous area in southern Kazakhstan in the Karakistan Valley of Zhambyl Oblast.

Why it’s popular:

Tourists come here to try to see with their own eyes the creature supposedly living in the lake. Divers are drawn to the lake by the chain of caves at the bottom.

Photo ©shutterstock

Canyon Lake

Lake Saura is located in the coastal part of the Caspian Sea. The water body “hides” in the canyon of the Mangyshlak Peninsula, like a hemisphere, it is surrounded on three sides by sheer stone walls. It looks like a half of a large bowl with the height of about 50 meters. According to one of the versions, the name of the lake is translated as “a warm place at the udder of a lactating mare. Another name of the reservoir is Turtle Lake, because freshwater turtles have lived here for a long time.

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During the rainy season, the water falls into the bowl in a spectacular waterfall. Water for many centuries penetrated a deep hole in the loose rocks, then freshwater springs, which constantly gush out of the ground here, filled it with fresh water. The depth of the lake is not precisely known; presumably, it may be as deep as 10 meters. It is probably the great depth that has allowed a large number of tortoises to hide here, which often crawl out on the rocks of the shore to warm themselves. Relict bog turtles are the largest inhabitants of the lake. Their size can reach 30 centimeters. Under normal conditions, they surface every 20 minutes to get some air. How and when they appeared in this lake is unknown, as well as no data on the number of these unique turtles in the lake.

Photo ©shutterstock

Tourist booklets refer to the canyon and Lake Saura as the “Black Pearl” of the peninsula. It is one of the most picturesque places in Mangistau. Nature has created a unique place here, populating it with a variety of fauna and flora. In the spring months, the lush vegetation, which includes dense thickets of rakita (or, as it is popularly called, Kazakhstan lilac) and river mint, they simply enchant you with their fragrance.

The lake is an oasis among the sands of Mangistau has existed since at least the late Stone Age. In the Eneolithic a small settlement was located on the edge of the canyon directly above the lake, and in the Bronze Age a large fortress wall with towers was built. Remains of the fortress have survived to this day in the form of a stone and earth rampart with massive stone slabs, which were the main building element of the ancient structures.


Old residents of the region keep many legends and tales about this amazing place. One of them says that in one village lived an unhappy woman. Being married, she realized that she was expecting a child, but her husband was against adding to the family. Heartbroken, she wandered down a ravine to a lake, which is said to be the poor woman’s tears. Finding no way out, she threw herself from the cliff face into the gorge.

This is just an ancient legend, but it is noteworthy: since ancient times, men and women have come here to become parents and find the joy of a full family. According to the legends, if a woman comes to the lake three times in seven days, she will become a mother.

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The legends of Saur are also connected with the name of the great Sufi Beket-ata. Beket-ata once participated in a discussion about the power of faith. He suggested to the disputants, “Whoever is the first to reach the gorge of Saura, which is on the coast of the sea, his faith will be stronger. Some of them rode on a camel, some on a fast horse. But when they reached their destination, by the shore of the lake they were met by Beket-ata, who was watching seven beautiful white swans. The visiting scientists began to ask him how he managed to get to the gorge first. To which Beket-ata replied, “I flew to you on the black swans of your disbelief. They descended on the smooth surface of the lake water and cleansed themselves. And all the blackness of your unbelief was swallowed up by the purity of this lake.” The same legend says that the bottomless lake swallowed up the remnants of black human doubt.

Where is it located:

The lake is located in the coastal part of the Caspian Sea in the Mangistau region.

Why it’s popular:

Tourists come to see the amazing oasis, stay overnight and see the unique gorge with their own eyes. Childless couples come for healing and family replenishment.

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Healing Tears of the Earth

The water in Tamshybulak spring near the village of Kapal in Almaty Oblast has long been considered healing. Water from the mountains falls down in separate drops, so the locals called the spring “tears of the earth”. Interestingly, the spring does not freeze even in winter frosts, and the algae remains green all year round.

The famous traveler and geographer Shokan Ualikhanov first started exploring Tamshybulak. He recorded a sad legend about the girl Bayan, with whom the spring originated. According to the legend, the beautiful girl would come here at night and grieve for her fate, shedding bitter tears. There were so many tears that they filled the grotto and began to spill out.

The famous English traveler Thomas Atkinson had a special connection with this place. Together with his young wife, he came to Kapal in 1848. Their firstborn son was born here, and his parents named him Alatau-Tamshybulak. In 2016, Atkinson’s descendants returned to Kapal, where their ancestor was born more than 160 years ago.

Tourists often come to the enchanting spring. Legends say that not only the water, but also the clay, plants and even the stones around the spring have healing powers. People make wishes here that, as the locals say, come true for sure.

Photo from

Where is it located:

An amazing spring is located near the village of Kapal in Almaty region.

Why it’s popular:

Many tourists come here to touch the mystery and heal from illnesses.

Bottomless Dead Lake.

Another of the mysterious lakes of Kazakhstan is a body of water with the frightening name “Dead Lake”, which is located in Almaty region. There are many legends among the local population that the lake is bewitched. Residents of nearby villages do not allow children to swim in it, but many tourists go there to touch the inexplicable and abnormal.

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According to legend, the lake acquired its dangerous properties after about a hundred years ago a jealous groom drowned his bride here in a fit of jealousy on the eve of his wedding. Since then it has been considered cursed. According to the scientific hypothesis, it may be the toxic gas released from the cleft at the bottom of the lake. There may be a geological fault, which emits toxic gas. But this is only an assumption.

There is a version that the waters of the lake are dead, no living creatures take root here, but frogs and fry can be seen in the reservoir. Therefore, this version does not stand up to criticism. Another version says that mystical rumors about this dead lake are related to the high salt content in the water and purple bacteria that live there and release hydrogen sulfide.

Another peculiarity of the lake is that for unknown reasons the water in the lake does not dry up all year round and remains ice-cold even in the heat of summer. According to scientists, the lake was formed as a result of the movement of ancient glaciers and is located in a crater of moraine sediments.

The strange thing is that so far it has not been possible to measure the depth of the “Dead Lake”. It is believed that the dead lake has no officially recorded depth. Divers with scuba tanks can stay at a depth of no more than five minutes. For unknown reasons, those who dive into the water begin to suffocate after a while and are forced to rise to the surface. Scientists attribute this phenomenon to the high density of the water due to its increased salinity.

Where is it located:

The lake is located in the Almaty region near the village of Sapak.

Why it’s popular:

Many tourists come here in search of mysticism, to tickle the nerves, because the lake is shrouded in mysteries and legends.

It is worth noting that the information given in the article is based on existing legends. Nevertheless, if you have a desire to explore mystical places, we recommend to consult the local tourism authorities about safety.

In conclusion, we hope that the coronavirus pandemic will soon be over and the borders for travel will be open again. is a service that allows you to quickly find, book and buy rail and air tickets online in any direction from anywhere in the world without leaving your home or office.

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