10 Of The World's Largest Lakes 

By Sonakshi Kandhari

May 17,2023

With 71% of the earth’s surface covered with water, around 4% of the planet is made up of lakes. Lakes are also called basins. The melting snow from mountains, rivers, streams and groundwater seepage are its sources of water. There are over 100 million lakes in the world, of which these 10 are the largest in terms of volume.

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Lake Baikal, Russia

Lake Baikal in Russia is not only the world’s largest, but it is also the world’s oldest lake. Its average water volume is a staggering 5,670 cubic miles. About 22–23% of the world’s freshwater is found in this lake. It is home to 2500 animal species and over 1000 plant species. The Baikal seal is found nowhere else in the world.

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Lake Tanganyika- Tanzania, Burundi, Congo and Zambia

Lake Tanganyika is divided across four countries: Tanzania, Burundi, Congo and Zambia. It is historically important because the wars of World War I were fought on this lake. A unique feature of this lake is its remarkably transparent waters, which allow for clear views as deep as 20 metres. And, the second distinctive feature is its consistently uniform temperature, with only the lower region being three degrees colder.

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Lake Superior, North America

One of North America’s great lakes, it contains 10% of the Earth’s freshwater. This lake alone contains as much water as all the other great lakes put together. Three hundred shipwrecks can be found at the bottom of this lake. The lake is extremely cold, and despite the harsh climatic conditions, 58 species of orchids bloom here.

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Lake Malawi, Tanzania

Spread across three countries—Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania—the water of this lake is warm and alkaline. This lake is also called ‘The Lake of Stars’ and ‘The Lake of Storms’. The waters of this lake alone are home to the most fish of any other lake in the world. In fact, 98% of the cichlid fish are only found in this lake.

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Lake Vostok, Antartica

It is Antarctica's largest lake and a subglacial one. This lake was formed as a result of volcanic activity. The lake’s average temperature is −3 degrees. This lake is situated beneath the Vostok Research Station, the spot where the lowest temperature has ever been recorded. The lake's expanse  is divided by a ridge into two basins.

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Lake Michingan, United States

Among its many rarities, it's the only place in the world where you can find the Petoskey Stone (a fossil of the Devonian Era). There are 500 shipwrecks submerged in its waters. It has a ‘bermuda triangle’ of its own, which is in the centre of the lake. Many strange sightings, such as strange lights, unexplained disappearances and mists, occur for no obvious reason.

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Lake Huron, North America

This lake, with its 30,000 individual islands, has the longest shoreline in comparison to other lakes. It's also home to the world’s largest freshwater island, Manitoulin Island, which has 100 freshwater lakes by itself. More than 1,000 shipwrecks lie beneath the waters of this lake. The first-ever European ship that was set to sail on the Great Lakes is a Lake Huron wreckage.

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Lake Victoria, Tanzania

This lake, named after Queen Victoria, is Africa's largest and the world's second-largest freshwater lake. Exotic birds and wetland animals call this lake home. The cichlid with vibrant-hued scales, the clawless otter and the sitatunga are a few species that you can watch out for. This 4,00,000-year-old lake offers surreal views.

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Great Bear Lake, Canada 

Contained within the Boreal forest, this is Canada's largest lake.. It encompasses about 1/3rd of the total area of the forest. It has multiple arms extending from it, namely, Northwest - Sith Arm, Northeast - Dease Arm, South - Mc Vicar Arm, Southwest - Keith Arm and Southeast - McTavish Arm. It is home to large freshwater fish, which makes it a great fishing spot.

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Issyuk Kul, Kyrgyzstan

Bordered by towering mountains, it is also called the ‘Pearl of Kyrgyzstan’. This lake's existence can be traced back to 25 million years. It gets its name from the Kyrgyz language, and its English meaning is ‘hot lakes’ because the water of this lake never freezes. The water of this lake has a rare chemical composition that possesses the ability to heal skin diseases.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons