All of us at the word “lake” imag­ine a kind of qui­et body of water, sur­round­ed by a vis­i­ble line of the coast. There will be no such lakes in this arti­cle. Have you ever heard of lakes where storm surges occur and are larg­er than some seas? I present to your atten­tion a selec­tion of “the largest lakes in the world”, which includes the 10 largest lakes. The arti­cle is divid­ed into three pages to accom­mo­date more inter­est­ing infor­ma­tion and pho­tos. Read, rate, leave com­ments and feed­back in the dis­cus­sions.

The largest lakes

10th place

So, at the end of the list of the largest lakes in the world, we have a lake called Nyasa. It is locat­ed simul­ta­ne­ous­ly in Africa, in Mozam­bique, Tan­za­nia and Malawi.


It is locat­ed in a dis­charge depres­sion at an alti­tude of 472 m. The area is 30.8 thou­sand sq. km. Depth up to 706 m (in the north­ern part of the reser­voir, where its bot­tom lies sig­nif­i­cant­ly below sea lev­el). The shores are steep and rocky, high, espe­cial­ly in the north and north­east.

the largest lakes

The south­ern part of the basin lies in a wide depres­sion, the banks are framed by a nar­row strip of the coastal plain. The aver­age annu­al inflow of water into the lake (riv­er runoff plus pre­cip­i­ta­tion) is about 72 km², evap­o­ra­tion is about 66 km³.


The lake is rich in fish (about 230 species), in par­tic­u­lar species of tilapis, croc­o­diles, hip­pos, and many water­fowl. With the light hand of some sci­en­tists, it is called the birth­place of aquar­i­um fish. Also, Lake Nyasa is char­ac­ter­ized by severe storms and surfs near steep banks, which impede nav­i­ga­tion (pas­sen­gers are trans­port­ed only dur­ing the day).


Small, isn’t it?) There are 9 more such “crumbs” ahead, and they will be by no means small­er …

9th place

9th place — Big Bear Lake

Big Bear4

Big Bear Lake — the largest lake in Cana­da, the fourth largest in North Amer­i­ca. The lake is locat­ed on the Arc­tic Cir­cle, between 65 and 67 degrees north lat­i­tude and 118 and 123 degrees west lon­gi­tude, at a lev­el of 186 m above sea lev­el.

Big Bear3

The lake has an out­flow through the Great Bear Riv­er into the Macken­zie Riv­er. The only set­tle­ments on the lake are Deline on the south­west­ern tip and Echo Cove on the north­east­ern side.

Big Bear5

On this lake you can see such beau­ty)

Big Bear2

8th place

In eighth place in the list of the largest lakes in the world — Baikal — con­cur­rent­ly also the deep­est lake on the plan­et.

lake baikal

Baikal is a lake of tec­ton­ic ori­gin in the south­ern part of East­ern Siberia, the deep­est lake on the plan­et Earth, the largest nat­ur­al reser­voir of fresh water. The lake and coastal areas are dis­tin­guished by a unique diver­si­ty of flo­ra and fau­na, most of the species are endem­ic. Locals and many in Rus­sia tra­di­tion­al­ly call Baikal the sea.


More than half of the year the lake is ice-bound, the freez­ing peri­od is Jan­u­ary 15 — May 1, nav­i­ga­tion is car­ried out from June to Sep­tem­ber. Since 1956, the lake has been an inte­gral part of the Irkut­sk (Baikal) reser­voir of long-term reg­u­la­tion, formed by the dam of the Irkut­sk hydro­elec­tric pow­er sta­tion.


Baikal is locat­ed in the cen­ter of Asia, in Rus­sia, on the bor­der of the Irkut­sk region and the Repub­lic of Bury­a­tia. The lake stretch­es from north to south­west for 636 km in the form of a giant cres­cent. The width of Baikal ranges from 25 to 80 km.


Olkhon Island


The water sur­face area is 31,722 sq. km, which is approx­i­mate­ly equal to the area of ​​coun­tries such as Bel­gium, the Nether­lands or Den­mark. The length of the coast­line is 2,100 km.


The lake is locat­ed in a kind of basin, sur­round­ed on all sides by moun­tain ranges and hills. At the same time, the west­ern coast is rocky and steep, the relief of the east­ern coast is more gen­tle (in some places the moun­tains recede from the coast for tens of kilo­me­ters).


7th place

Lake Tan­ganyi­ka is a large lake in Cen­tral Africa. This is one of the largest lakes in the world and is equal­ly ancient in ori­gin. In terms of vol­ume and depth, Tan­ganyi­ka ranks sec­ond after Lake Baikal. The shores of the lake belong to four coun­tries — the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of the Con­go, Tan­za­nia, Zam­bia and Burun­di.


The lake is about 650 km long and 40–80 km wide. The area is 34 thou­sand sq. km. Lies at an alti­tude of 773 meters above sea lev­el in the tec­ton­ic basin of the East African Rift Zone. Coastal land­scapes, as a rule, are huge rocks and only on the east­ern side of the coast are gen­tle. On the west coast, the steep side walls of the East African Rift Zone, which form the coast­line, reach 2,000 m in height. The coast­line is dot­ted with bays and bays. The largest of them is Bur­ton Bay. The lake is fed by sev­er­al trib­u­taries. The only out­flow­ing riv­er — Luku­ga (Luku­ga) begins in the mid­dle part of the west coast and flows west, con­nect­ing with the Zaire Riv­er, which flows into the Atlantic.

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The lake is home to hip­pos, croc­o­diles, and a lot of water­fowl. Fish­ing and ship­ping are well devel­oped.


The antiq­ui­ty of the lake and the long peri­od of iso­la­tion result­ed in the devel­op­ment of a large num­ber of endem­ic organ­isms, includ­ing those from the fam­i­ly Cich­li­dae (cich­lids). Of the more than 200 species of fish liv­ing in the lake, about 170 are endem­ic.


Tan­ganyi­ka is inhab­it­ed to about a depth of 200 m, below this mark there is a high con­cen­tra­tion of hydro­gen sul­fide and life is absent to the very bot­tom. This lay­er of the lake is a huge “bur­ial ground” con­sist­ing of organ­ic silt and sed­i­men­ta­ry min­er­al com­pounds.


The water tem­per­a­ture of Tan­ganyi­ka strict­ly dif­fers in lay­ers. So, in the upper lay­er, the tem­per­a­ture ranges from 24 to 30 degrees, with a decrease at great depths. Due to the dif­fer­ent den­si­ty of water and the absence of a bot­tom cur­rent, the lay­ers do not mix, and the tem­per­a­ture at the low­er hori­zons reach­es only 6–8 degrees.


The depth of the tem­per­a­ture jump lay­er is about 100 m. The Tan­gani­ka water is very trans­par­ent (up to 30 m). Many salts are dis­solved in it in small con­cen­tra­tions, so that in its com­po­si­tion it resem­bles a high­ly dilut­ed marine one. Water hard­ness (main­ly due to mag­ne­sium salts) ranges from 8 to 15 degrees. Water has an alka­line reac­tion, pH 8.0 — 9.5.


The lake was dis­cov­ered in 1858 by Eng­lish trav­el­ers R. Bur­ton and J. Speke.



6th place

The sixth largest lake in the world is Aral Sea

vids cosmos

The Aral Sea is an endorhe­ic salt lake in Cen­tral Asia, on the bor­der of Kaza­khstan and Uzbek­istan. Since the 1960s of the XX cen­tu­ry, the sea lev­el (and the vol­ume of water in it) has been rapid­ly decreas­ing due to the with­draw­al of water from the main sup­ply rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya for irri­ga­tion pur­pos­es. Pri­or to the start of shal­low­ing, the Aral Sea was the fourth largest lake in the world.

Aral Sea

Col­lec­tor-drainage waters com­ing from the fields into the Syrdarya and Amudarya chan­nels have caused deposits of pes­ti­cides and var­i­ous oth­er agri­cul­tur­al pes­ti­cides, appear­ing in places on 54 thou­sand square kilo­me­ters of the for­mer seabed cov­ered with salt. Dust storms car­ry salt, dust and pes­ti­cides to a dis­tance of up to 500 km. Sodi­um bicar­bon­ate, sodi­um chlo­ride and sodi­um sul­fate are air­borne and destroy or slow down the devel­op­ment of nat­ur­al veg­e­ta­tion and crops. The local pop­u­la­tion suf­fers from a high preva­lence of res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­eases, ane­mia, can­cer of the lar­ynx and esoph­a­gus, as well as diges­tive dis­or­ders. Dis­eases of the liv­er and kid­neys, eye dis­eases have become more fre­quent.


In 2001, as a result of a drop in the water lev­el, Vozrozh­deniye Island was con­nect­ed to the main­land. On this island, the Sovi­et Union test­ed bac­te­ri­o­log­i­cal weapons: the causative agents of anthrax, tularemia, bru­cel­losis, plague, typhoid, small­pox, as well as bot­u­linum tox­in were test­ed here on hors­es, mon­keys, sheep, don­keys and oth­er lab­o­ra­to­ry ani­mals. This is the rea­son for the fear that dead­ly microor­gan­isms have retained their via­bil­i­ty, and infect­ed rodents may become their dis­trib­u­tors in oth­er regions.


Accord­ing to the cal­cu­la­tions of sci­en­tists, it is no longer pos­si­ble to save the Aral Sea. Even if we com­plete­ly refuse to take water from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, the pre­vi­ous water lev­el in it will be restored no ear­li­er than in 200 years.

The Aral Sea once occu­pied 68 thou­sand square kilo­me­ters and was the fourth largest in the world. Now its area is about 10% of that record­ed in the 60s of the last cen­tu­ry. Pic­tures from 1989 and 2003:


This is a pho­to from 2008


From the 1950s to the present, projects have been repeat­ed­ly pro­posed for the con­struc­tion of a canal for trans­fer­ring water from the Ob basin to the Aral Sea basin, which would sig­nif­i­cant­ly devel­op the econ­o­my of the Aral Sea region (in par­tic­u­lar, agri­cul­ture) and par­tial­ly revive the Aral Sea. Such con­struc­tion will require very large mate­r­i­al costs (on the part of sev­er­al states — Rus­sia, Kaza­khstan, Uzbek­istan), so there is no talk of prac­ti­cal imple­men­ta­tion of these projects yet.

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Some sci­en­tists pre­dict the com­plete dis­ap­pear­ance of the Aral Sea by 2020…


5th place

In the mid­dle of the list of the largest lakes in the world is lake michi­gan one of the North Amer­i­can Great Lakes.


The only one of the Great Lakes that is entire­ly with­in the Unit­ed States. It is locat­ed south of Lake Supe­ri­or, con­nect­ed to Lake Huron by the Mack­inac Strait, to the Mis­sis­sip­pi Riv­er sys­tem — the Chica­go-Lock­port Canal.


From the point of view of hydrog­ra­phy, Michi­gan and Huron form a sin­gle sys­tem, but geo­graph­i­cal­ly they are con­sid­ered to be sep­a­rate lakes.


Square Michi­gan — about 57,750 km² (the third largest among the Great Lakes), about 500 km long, about 190 km wide. The sur­face height above sea lev­el is 177 m (as in Huron), the depth is up to 281 m. It is cov­ered with ice for about four months a year. Islands — Beaver, North Man­i­tou, South Man­i­tou.


The states of Michi­gan, Indi­ana, Illi­nois and Wis­con­sin have access to the lake. Major cities on Lake Michi­gan include Chica­go, Evanston and High­land Park (Illi­nois), Mil­wau­kee and Green Bay (Wis­con­sin), Gary and Ham­mond (Indi­ana).


The name of the lake comes from the word mishiga­mi, which means “big water” in the Ojib­wa lan­guage. The first Euro­pean to dis­cov­er the lake was the French­man Jean Nico­let in 1634.


4th place

Lake Huron is the fourth largest lake in the world. It is a lake in the USA and Cana­da, one of the North Amer­i­can Great Lakes. Locat­ed east of Lake Michi­gan, con­nect­ed to it by the Strait of Mack­inac. From the point of view of hydrog­ra­phy, Michi­gan and Huron form a sin­gle sys­tem (they are con­nect­ed by the Mack­inac Strait), but geo­graph­i­cal­ly they are con­sid­ered to be sep­a­rate lakes.


The Huron area is about 59.6 thou­sand km2 (the sec­ond largest among the Great Lakes). The sur­face height above sea lev­el is about 176 m (as in Michi­gan), the depth is up to 229 m.


The states of Michi­gan and the Cana­di­an province of Ontario have access to the lake. The main ports on Huron are Sag­i­naw, Bay City, Alpina (USA) and Sar­nia (Cana­da).


The name of the lake, intro­duced by the French, comes from the name of the Huron Indi­an tribe.


Man­i­toulin is locat­ed on Huron — the largest island in the world, locat­ed in a fresh lake.


3rd place

Clos­es the top three largest lakes Vic­to­ria — a lake in East Africa, on the ter­ri­to­ry of Tan­za­nia, Kenya and Ugan­da. Locat­ed in the tec­ton­ic trough of the East African Plat­form, at an alti­tude of 1134 m. This is the 2nd largest fresh­wa­ter lake in the world after Lake Supe­ri­or and the largest lake in Africa


The lake was dis­cov­ered and named after Queen Vic­to­ria by British trav­el­er John Hen­ning Speke in 1858.


Square Lake Vic­to­ria 68 thou­sand square kilo­me­ters, length 320 km, max­i­mum width 275 km. It is part of the Vic­to­ria Reser­voir. Lots of islands. The high-water Kagera Riv­er flows in, the Vic­to­ria Nile Riv­er flows out. The lake is nav­i­ga­ble, the locals are engaged in fish­ing on it.


The north­ern coast of the lake cross­es the equa­tor. The lake with a max­i­mum depth of 80 m belongs to fair­ly deep lakes.


Unlike its deep-water neigh­bors, Tan­ganyi­ka and Nyasa, which lie with­in the gorge sys­tem of Africa, Lake Vic­to­ria fills a shal­low depres­sion between the east­ern and west­ern sides of the Great Gorge val­ley. The lake receives a huge amount of water from the rains, more than from all its trib­u­taries.


30 mil­lion peo­ple live in the vicin­i­ty of the lake. On the south­ern and west­ern shores of the lake, the Haya peo­ple live, who knew how to grow cof­fee long before the arrival of Euro­peans. Main ports: Entebbe (Ugan­da), Mwan­za, Buko­ba (Tan­za­nia), Kisumu (Kenya), near the north­ern coast of Kam­pala, the cap­i­tal of Ugan­da.


2nd place

On the sec­ond place con­fi­dent­ly entrenched lake supe­ri­or — the largest, deep­est and cold­est of the Great Lakes and, con­cur­rent­ly, the largest fresh­wa­ter lake in the world.


In the north, Lake Supe­ri­or is bound­ed by the ter­ri­to­ry of the Cana­di­an province of Ontario, in the west by the US state of Min­neso­ta, in the south by the states of Wis­con­sin and Michi­gan.

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The basins of Lake Supe­ri­or and the north­ern part of Lake Huron were worked out in the crys­talline rocks of the south­ern part of the Cana­di­an Shield, the basins of the remain­ing lakes were mined in the thick­ness of lime­stones, dolomites, and sand­stones of the Pale­o­zoic of the North Amer­i­can Plat­form. The basin of the Upper Lake was formed as a result of tec­ton­ic move­ments, pre-glacial riv­er and glacial ero­sion.


The ori­gin of the water mass of the Upper Lake is asso­ci­at­ed with the melt­ing of the ice sheet, dur­ing the retreat of which a num­ber of large lakes were formed in this area, which repeat­ed­ly changed their out­lines.


In the north­ern part of the Great Lakes, the coast­line is dis­sect­ed, the islands and shores (up to 400 m high) are rocky, steep, very pic­turesque, espe­cial­ly the shores of Lake Supe­ri­or and the north­ern part of Lake Huron.


The fluc­tu­a­tions in the lev­el of the Upper Lake are arti­fi­cial­ly reg­u­lat­ed for the pur­pos­es of ship­ping, ener­gy, etc. The ampli­tude of sea­son­al fluc­tu­a­tions is 30–60 cm, the high­est lev­el is observed in sum­mer, the low­est in win­ter. Short-term lev­el fluc­tu­a­tions caused by strong surge winds and seich­es reach 3–4 m, the height of the tides is 3–4 cm


1 place

The Caspi­an Sea tops the rank­ing“The largest lakes in the world“Despite the fact that it is called the sea, in fact it is the largest drain­less lake on the plan­et. It is locat­ed at the junc­tion of Europe and Asia, and it is called the sea only because of its size. The Caspi­an Sea is a drain­less lake, and the water in it is salty, from 0.05 ‰ near the mouth of the Vol­ga to 11–13 ‰ in the south­east.


The Caspi­an Sea is sim­i­lar in shape to the Latin let­ter S, its length from north to south is about 1200 kilo­me­ters, from west to east — from 195 to 435 kilo­me­ters, on aver­age 310–320 kilo­me­ters.


The Caspi­an Sea is con­di­tion­al­ly divid­ed accord­ing to phys­i­cal and geo­graph­i­cal con­di­tions into 3 parts — the North Caspi­an, the Mid­dle Caspi­an and the South Caspi­an. The con­di­tion­al bor­der between the North and Mid­dle Caspi­an runs along the line Chechen (island) — Tyub-Kara­gan­sky cape, between the Mid­dle and South Caspi­an — along the line Zhiloy (island) — Gan-Gulu (cape). The area of ​​the North­ern, Mid­dle and South­ern Caspi­an is respec­tive­ly 25, 36, 39 per­cent of the total area of ​​the Caspi­an Sea.


The length of the coast­line of the Caspi­an Sea is esti­mat­ed at about 6500 — 6700 kilo­me­ters, with islands — up to 7000 kilo­me­ters. The shores of the Caspi­an Sea in most of its ter­ri­to­ry are low-lying and smooth. In the north­ern part, the coast­line is indent­ed by water chan­nels and islands of the Vol­ga and Ural deltas, the shores are low and swampy, and the water sur­face is cov­ered with thick­ets in many places.


The east coast is dom­i­nat­ed by lime­stone shores adja­cent to semi-deserts and deserts. The most wind­ing coasts are on the west coast in the area of ​​the Apsheron Penin­su­la and on the east coast in the area of ​​the Kaza­kh Gulf and Kara-Bogaz-Gol.


The ter­ri­to­ry adja­cent to the Caspi­an Sea is called the Caspi­an Sea.


Area and vol­ume of water Caspi­an Sea varies great­ly with water lev­el fluc­tu­a­tions. With a water lev­el of 26.75 m, the area is approx­i­mate­ly 371,000 km square kilo­me­ters, the vol­ume of water is 78,648 cubic kilo­me­ters, which is approx­i­mate­ly 44 per­cent of the world’s lake water reserves. The max­i­mum depth of the Caspi­an Sea is in the South Caspi­an depres­sion, 1025 meters from its sur­face lev­el. In terms of max­i­mum depth, the Caspi­an Sea is sec­ond only to Baikal (1620 m) and Tan­ganyi­ka (1435 m). The aver­age depth of the Caspi­an Sea is 208 meters. At the same time, the north­ern part of the Caspi­an Sea is shal­low, its max­i­mum depth does not exceed 25 meters, and the aver­age depth is 4 meters.


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