|Location||Burqin County and Habahe County, Xinjiang|
|Primary outflows||Kanas River|
|Surface area||45.73 km²|
|Average depth||120 m|
|Max. depth||188.5 m|
|Surface elevation||1,340 m|
Kanas Lake (Chinese: 喀纳斯湖; pinyin: Kānàsī Hú, Xiao'erjing: كَانَاسِ خٗ) is a lake in Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang, China. The lake is located in a valley in the Altai Mountains, near the very northern tip of Xinjiang, and the province's borders with Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia. The lake was formed around 200,000 years ago during the Quaternary period as a result of glacier movement. The crescent moon shaped lake has an estimated water storage capacity of 53.8 billion cubic meters, coupled with an average depth of around 120 meters.
There is a large population of ethnic Tuvans and Kazakhs in the Kanas valley. While most of these people have maintained their traditional agricultural and nomadic life styles, many work in the developing tourism industry, and have established facilities for orienteering, hiking, rafting, rock climbing, paragliding and camping. The scenic spot is classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.
About 117 different kinds of birds live along the lake.
For several centuries there have been sightings of large lake creatures in the waters. First efforts in research of these legends were done by Yuan Guoying (Xinjiang University) who observed fish of enormous size in 1985. He and his students assessed that the fish could be 10 – 15 m long and more than 4 tons heavy, with total population in excess of 50 individuals.
Frequency of observation has increased in the 21st century, with the development of mass tourism. A video was taken and shown in the local Chinese media where numerous unidentifiable creatures can be seen. According to CCTV10, the creatures living in the lake are speculated by Chinese scholar as giant Hucho taimen.
Lake Kanas satellite Landsat 7, 2006
- "AAAAA Scenic Areas". China National Tourism Administration. 16 November 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- YouTube: Unknown creature in Kanas Lake
Media related to Lake Kanas at Wikimedia Commons