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The 10 Most Famous Lakes in the World

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Hassam loves researching and writing about all kinds of subjects, including geography and zoology.

Lakes are freshwater bodies that are enclosed by land on all sides. The primary difference between a lake and a river is that rivers are connected to another body of water—whether it be an ocean, a sea, a lake, or another river. Lakes, however, have no place to go.

Read on to discover 10 of the world's most famous lakes.

1. Lake Baikal (Russia)

This lake is located in the Republic of Buryatia (in Russia's Irkutsk province).

Lake Baikal holds two impressive records: It has the largest water volume of any continental lake on the planet, and it is the world's deepest lake. On a rough estimate, this lake provides 20% of the world’s fresh water.

DepthSurface AreaVolume

1,741 meters (5,315 feet)

31,494 sq km (12,160 sq mi)

22,995 cu km (18,760 cu mi)

2. Lough Neagh (Ireland)

Lough Neagh is a freshwater lake in Northern Ireland. It is the largest lake in the British Isles, and one of the 40 largest lakes in Europe. It covers an area of 381.74 square kilometers, which is approximately 147.39 square miles.

3. Caspian Sea (Russia and Iran)

The Caspian Sea, named after the Kaspi peoples who used to live in Transcaucasia, is an oceanic lake in central Asia. This lake is in both Russia and Iran. We've all heard of the Caspian Sea, but many people might not know that it's not a sea at all. In fact, it is an oceanic lake.

According to area and depth, it is the world’s largest lake and the third deepest.

DepthSurface AreaVolume

1,025 meters (3,363 feet)

371,000 sq km (143,244 sq mi)

78,200 cu km (18,760 cu mi)

Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan

Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan

4. Lake Tanganyika (Africa)

Tanganyika is a freshwater lake in Africa. According to estimates, this lake is the second deepest, fifth largest, and third greatest (in terms of volume) in the world.

This lake makes a boundary between Tanzania and Congo. It also divides eastern and western Africa.

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DepthSurface AreaVolume

1,471 meters (4,825 feet)

32,893 sq km (12,700 sq mi)

17,800 cu km (4,270 cu mi)

Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika

5. Lake Superior (North America)

Superior is the largest of the five Great Lakes. To the south, it is bounded by Michigan and Wisconsin, and to the north, it is bounded by Minnesota and the Canadian province of Ontario.

In terms of surface area, this lake is considered one of the planet's largest freshwater lakes. It has a volume of 12,100 cubic kilometers, which is approximately 2,903 cubic miles.

Lake Superior in Summer

Lake Superior in Summer

Icy waves on Lake Superior

Icy waves on Lake Superior

6. Loch Lomond (Scotland)

This freshwater lake is in the highlands and is the largest of all Scottish lakes. The famous Inchmurrin, the largest freshwater island in the British Isles, is in this lake.

For the people of Scotland, especially those from Glasgow, this is a pure leisure destination. It covers an area of 71.12 square kilometers (27.46 square miles).

7. Lake Victoria (Africa)

Lake Victoria is the largest reservoir feeding the river Nile. Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes. It is also known as Victoria Nyanza, Sango, Lolwe, and Nalubalee. This lake is mainly in Uganda and Tanzania, but a small part of it is in Kenya. The area of Lake Victoria is 69,485 square kilometers (26,828 square miles).

Lake Victoria is home to more than 200 species of fish, among which tilapia is the most important from an economic point of view.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria

8. Loch Ness (Scotland)

This lake has the largest volume of fresh water in Great Britain and contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined. At some points, it is deeper than London’s BT Tower, with a depth of 230 meters (755 feet). It is the second-deepest lake in Great Britain (Loch Morar comes in first).

The surface area of this lake is almost 56.64 square kilometers (21.87 square miles). Like many other lakes in Scotland, Loch Ness is also said to have some aquatic monsters in it.

Loch Ness

Loch Ness

9. Great Slave Lake (Canada)

Great Slave is the second-largest freshwater lake in Canada, after Great Bear Lake. It is located in the Northwest Territories. This lake has a depth of 614 meters (approximately 2,015 feet). It is the deepest lake in North America and one of the top 10 deepest lakes in the world.

This lake is named after the Slavey people—an American Indian group in the region. This lake has a small fishing industry for trout and whitefish and has many small islands in it.

Ice Road on Great Slave Lake

Ice Road on Great Slave Lake

10. Lake Malawi (Africa)

Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, is in East Africa. It is the third largest of the African Great Lakes (also called the East African Rift Valley Lakes). The volume of this lake is 8,400 cubic kilometers(approximately 2,015 cubic miles).

In 1616, a Portuguese man named Casper Boccaro reported this lake. The first person to reach this lake from the south was a British explorer named David Livingstone in 1859.

Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi

We Need to Preserve Our Lakes

Lakes are considered to be very temporary bodies of water and may dry up due to changing geological conditions. We all are aware of the tragedy of the Aral Sea, and who knows when another lake will dry up. We must take measures for their preservation.

Satellite Image of the Shrinking Aral Sea

Satellite Image of the Shrinking Aral Sea

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