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WORLD’S GREATEST LAKES

6 Bodies of Water

Our Earth is gifted with water – the source of life and vitality. Less than 1.5% of all our Earth’s water is ground freshwater, and lakes are its greatest and most valuable reservoirs. These here are the six greatest lakes of our planet that everyone should know.

Caspian Sea

caspian-sea

image source: www.worldatlas.com

The Caspian Sea is the largest lake on the planet. It’s so large (371,000 km2) that it’s even called a sea. The lake lies to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the massive steppe of Central Asia. The northern part of the lake is one of the lowest points on Earth. The lake has gained its name from the ancient people called Caspi who lived southwest of the sea. The lake is so enormous that it’s coast line is shared by 5 countries and divided into three distinct physical regions.

Lake Superior

lake-superior

image source: www.livescience.com

Lake Superior is the largest lake of the Great Lakes of North America, its boarders are shared by the US and Canada. The lake is considered to be the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area (82,100 km2) – the Caspian Sea is saltwater. Alike other waterbodies of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior was formed due to Glacial melting some 10’000 years ago.

Lake Victoria

lake-victoria

image source: www.lake-victoria.net

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in the continent of Africa and the largest tropical lake in the world by surface are (68,800 km2). It was named by the explorer John Hanning Speke (the first Briton to document the freshwater lake) in honour of Queen Victoria, the reigning British monarch of the time. Speke reported all this when he and Richard F. Burton were on the mission to locate the source of the Nile.

Lake Tanganyika

lake-tanganyika

image source: listenthusiast.com

Just like Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika is a part of the African Great Lakes. It is considered to be the second largest body of freshwater in the world by volume and the second deepest, just after Lake Baikal in Russia. Lake Tanganyika is the longest freshwater lake in the world, while its surface area (32,900 km2) makes it the sixth largest lake in the world. Lake Tanganyika is situated in the western part of the East African Rift and is enclosed by the mountainous valley walls.

Lake Baikal

lake-baikal

image source: wereblog.com

Lake Baikal derives its name from Baygal nuur, etymologically meaning “the Nature Lake” in Mongolian. The lake is the largest body of freshwater by volume, containing about 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface freshwater. With an astounding 23,615 km3 of freshwater, it contains more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined. Similar to Lake Tanganyika, the Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley. The Baikal contains numerous species of animals and plants, many of which can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Lake Vostok

lake-vostok

image source: nsidc.org

Maybe you didn’t know this, but even Antarctica has lakes, and a lot of them! Lake Vostok is the largest of the 400 known subglacial (under ice) lakes. The lake is guarded by an ice sheet approximately 4km thick, which actually places the lake to be 500m under sea level. The idea of under-ice freshwater lakes in Antarctica was propelled as early as the 19th century. A Russian scientist by the name of Peter Kropotkin proposed the theory that the massive ice sheet actually exerted so much pressure on the lowest levels of ice that they would reach the point of melting!

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