5 Largest Lakes Around The World You Should Visit

Prepare to be captivated as we traverse continents and dive into the tranquil depths of these breathtaking natural wonders, beckoning travellers with their irresistible charm and extraordinary allure
People Vacationing At The Caspian Sea
People Vacationing At The Caspian Sea

Lakes are integral to the Earth's natural and human systems, significantly shaping the landscape. These basins collect and retain water through geological and hydrological processes like glacier melt, river movements, and volcanic activity. Lakes can be freshwater or saltwater, occurring naturally or artificially, and found at various elevations from high altitudes to below sea level. An iconic example of a salt lake below sea level is the Dead Sea, bordering Jordan and Israel and known as the lowest point on Earth. It has drawn tourists for its exceptional properties. Additionally, numerous stunning lakes worldwide have long been popular destinations for tourists, offering opportunities for exploration and appreciation of their beauty. Whether it's natural wonders or artificial creations, lakes continue to enchant and inspire people across the globe.

Caspian Sea

The Caspian Sea may seem like a sea, but it is the largest lake in the world. It covers a surface area of 371,000 sq km and has a shoreline length of 7,000 km. The maximum depth of the Caspian Sea is 1,025 metres, and Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan border it. The Caspian Sea is classified as an endorheic basin, which means its contents do not flow to any external bodies of water. However, it was not always like this. Research shows that 11 million years ago, the Caspian Sea was connected to the world's oceans via the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Sea of Azov. The Caspian Sea is the only saltwater lake on this list, while the other four are all freshwater.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is a massive freshwater lake that ranks as the largest and second-largest lake worldwide by surface area. This impressive body of water was formed around 1.2 billion years ago through the North American Mid-Continent Rift. The rift almost caused the North American continent to split, but fortunately, instead of creating an oceanic basin, it produced a freshwater lake that we now know as Lake Superior. This lake has a surface area of 82,000 square kilometres and a shoreline that stretches over 2,783 kilometres. It has a maximum depth of 406 meters and is bordered by Canada and the United States. Today, Lake Superior is shared by two countries and three states Canada, the United States, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It spans approximately 160 miles in width and 350 miles in length, with an average depth of 483 feet. A fascinating fact is that Lake Superior contains more water than the combined water volume of the other four Great Lakes.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa, the second-largest freshwater lake in the world, and the largest tropical lake in the world. It was initially known as Lake Nyanza until 1858 when British explorer John Hanning Speke discovered the lake and renamed it after Queen Victoria. Speke is recognized as the first European to reach Lake Victoria and identifies it as one of the primary sources of the Nile River. The lake is primarily located in Uganda and Tanzania, with small portions in Kenya and Rwanda. The lake's surface area spans 59,946 square kilometres with a shoreline length of 7,142 kilometres and a maximum depth of 81 meters. The shoreline countries include Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. Lake Victoria has over 3,000 islands and numerous archipelagos and reefs. Approximately 80% of the lake's water volume comes from direct rainfall, while the remaining 20% comes from small rivers flowing into the lake.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is the sole Great Lake found entirely within the United States. Its name, "michi-gami" in Ojibwe, means great water. With a surface area of 58,030 sq km and a shoreline length of 2,300 km, Lake Michigan ranks fourth among the largest freshwater lakes and fifth among the largest lakes worldwide. It has a maximum depth of 281 m and is exclusively bordered by the United States. Notably, Lake Michigan is linked to Lake Huron via the Straits of Mackinac at its northern end, though they are generally considered distinct bodies of water despite being technically the same lake.

Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal is situated in the southern region of Siberia, Russia, and covers an area of 31,722 square kilometres. It has a shoreline length of 2,100 kilometres and a maximum depth of 1,642 meters. Russia borders the lake and can be viewed from the Trans Siberian Railroad (TSR), which runs just south of the lake and follows the rocky shores. Travellers on the TSR can witness breathtaking views of the lake while also skirting the border of Mongolia. In 1996, UNESCO declared Lake Baikal a World Heritage Site to acknowledge its rich and unusual freshwater ecosystem. Due to its remote and ancient nature, the lake has a unique diversity, earning it the nickname 'Galapagos of Russia'. It is considered the oldest lake in the world, with a formation dating back 25 million years due to a rift valley.

Cover Photo Caspian Sea/Depositphotos

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