The Blue Lake was originated in the cavern of a karst. Its surface is absolutely still, although a deep ravine stream from beneath the cliffs loudly flows into it. The Blue Lake is fed by the waters of a subterranean river that begins on the decline of the high Akhtsykh mountain.
As for its size, the Lake is not large, its surface area totaling to 180 square metres, however the depth in some places is somewhere around 76 metres. Sapphire is an almost exact comparison, as the Lake is an amazing bright blue color, which does not fade even in the worst weather.
Experts claim that the Lake's bottom is covered with deposits of the mineral lazurite and the water is completely transparent which is what gives the Lake its wonderful color.
The average water temperature of the Lake is about 7 C and rises to about 10 C only on the very hottest days. The Lake never freezes.
An ancient legend tells that in olden times there was a cave where the Lake is now situated where an old priest lived. His snow-white beard almost reached the ground and his light blue eyes brimmed with wisdom and kindness.
This wise man had been a famous hunter in the past. Having grown old he moved away from people to be close to nature and settled in the cave. Local hunters often visited him for advice, his knowledge of mountain paths, animal habits and the best way to hunt them. The hunters would thank him for his help with a skin and a portion of meat from animals they had hunted.
One day, foreigners appeared in the area in terrible weather and asked the old man to let them spend a night in the cave. He warmly welcomed and played host to the strangers, laying down animal skins for them to sleep on. Having seen such a great number of bison, bear, deer, roe and marten skins the avid guests decided to take possession of them. After murdering the old man they started to gather up his riches into the sacks. They had almost gathered up all of the furs when suddenly a powerful flow of water blocked the entrance to the cave trapping the murderers. This was the origin of the Blue Lake or the Lake of Abkhazian Elder. Its waters resemble the blue eyes of the man, whose body remains at the bottom and whose blue eyes made the colour of the Lake so unusual.
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Mount Elbrus has other local names:
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