Siberia is the region of Russia east of the Ural Mountains, south of the Arctic Ocean, and stretching for thousands of miles east to the Pacific Ocean. Major towns of Siberia include Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Novysibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.
Historically Siberia was inhabited by nomadic tribes. Russian colonization was gradually accomplished by the creation of penal colonies, the establishment of military garrisons, and the arrival of Kozaks. Even since the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the population of the region remains low.
In 1908, an asteroid exploded over the Tunguska region of Siberia, flattening trees and charring the earth for miles. Thankfully, the disaster occurred in a sparely populated region, so no one died. It was one of the most dangerous natural disasters in recent times.
From north to south, Siberia changes from tundra and permafrost, to extensive swamps and immense, predominantly coniferous forests. Siberia contains several of the worlds longest rivers - the Lena, the Ob', the Yenisey. There are glaciers and active volcanos on the Kamchatka peninsula. Lake Baikal is the worlds deepest lake.
Siberian wildlife includes tigers, reindeer, black, brown and polar bears, sables, sea otters and lemmings. The frozen corpses of mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses have been found frozen in the Siberian Arctic. Huge numbers of fur seals and walruses live on the North Siberian Islands and in the Bering Sea and the extinct sirenian Steller's sea cow was found only here.