|Location||North Korea / China|
|Basin countries||North Korea, China|
|Surface area||9.82 km2 (3.79 sq mi)|
|Average depth||213 m (699 ft)|
|Max. depth||384 m (1,260 ft)|
|Surface elevation||2,189.1 m (7,182 ft)|
Heaven Lake (천지 (Ch'ŏnji or Cheonji) in Korean; 天池 (Tiānchí) in Chinese) is a crater lake on the border between China and North Korea. It lies within a caldera atop the volcanic Baekdu Mountain, a part of the Baekdudaegan mountain range and the Changbai mountain range. It is located partly in Ryanggang Province, North Korea, at , and partly in Jilin Province, northeastern China.
Geology and limnology
The lake has a surface elevation of 2,189.1 m (7,182 ft). The lake covers an area of 9.82 km² (3.79 sq mi) with a south-north length of 4.85 km (3.01 mi) and east-west length of 3.35 kilometres (2.08 mi). The average depth of the lake is 213 m (699 ft) and maximum depth of 384 m (1,260 ft). From mid-October to mid-June, it is typically covered with ice.
Names and legends
In ancient Chinese literature, Tianchi also refers to Nanming (南冥 sometimes translated as "southern sea").
In North Korean legend, Kim Jong-il is claimed to have been born near the lake on the mountain. Upon his death, the Korean Central News Agency claimed that the ice on the lake cracked "so loud, it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth."
Lake Tianchi Monster
Heaven lake is also alleged to be home to the Lake Tianchi Monster.
On September 6, 2007, Zhuo Yongsheng (director of a TV station's news center run by the administration office of the nature reserve at Mount Changbaishan, Jilin), shot a 20-minute video of 6 seal-like, finned "Lake Tianchi Monsters", near the border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). He sent pictures of the Loch Ness Monster-type creatures to Xinhua's Jilin provincial bureau. One of them showed the creatures swimming in 3 pairs, in parallel. Another showed them together, leaving ripples on the volcanic lake.
- Horn, Susanne; Schmincke, Hans-Ulrich (2000). "Volatile emission during the eruption of Baitoushan Volcano (China/North Korea) ca. 969 AD". Bulletin of Volcanology 61 (8): 537–555. doi:10.1007/s004450050004.
- Kim Jong-il death: 'Nature mourns' N Korea leader
- "Chinese monster rivals Nessie". BBC News Newsround. 2003-07-31.
- English.people.com, 'Tianchi monster' caught on film