Uvs Nuur (Увс Нуур) shimmers in the middle of the desert like a gigantic inland sea. The lake’s surface occupies 3423 sq km, making it Mongolia’s largest lake, though it’s very shallow, with an average depth of 12m. Nevertheless, legend has it that the lake is bottomless.
Uvs Nuur is said to be saltier than the ocean and devoid of edible fish. It has no outlet, so a lot of the shoreline is quasi-wetland. This inaccessibility, plus the clouds of mosquitoes, make it unfriendly for tourists.
Ornithologists have documented more than 300 bird species around the Uvs Nuur Strictly Protected Area, including cranes, spoonbills, geese and eagles, as well as gulls that fly thousands of kilometres from the southern coast of China to spend a brief summer in Mongolia.