7. Lake Baikal
Situated in the cold tundra of Siberia, Russia Lake Baikal is the freshwater lake with greatest volume in the world, containing roughly 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface fresh water. Man! That’s big! It is the world’s seventh largest lake in terms of area with a surface area of 31500 square kilometers and at 1,642 m, the deepest of all.
It is also thought to be the world’s oldest lake at 25 million years. It sits in a huge stone bowl set 445 m above sea level. Everyone who has been to its shores is impressed and charmed by the grandeur, size, and unusual might of this Siberian miracle of nature.
6. Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the sixth largest lake in the world by area with an area of 32893 square kilometers. It is also the world’s longest freshwater lake. The lake is divided among four countries – Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, and Zambia.
This vast inland sea was first made known to the European world in the mid 1800’s by the English explorers Richard Burton and John Speke. They pursued it as the source of the Nile, arriving at its shores in February of 1858, only to discover that the Ruzizi River in the north, which they thought to be the Nile, flowed into and not out of the lake.
5. Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is also a lake among the five Great lakes of the North American continent. It is the third largest among the great lakes and the fifth largest in the world with a surface area of 58000 square kilometers. It is the only lake among the five solely situated within United States of America unlike the other great lakes. The French explorer Jean Nicolet is believed to have been the first non-Native American to reach Lake Michigan, possibly in 1634.
Twelve million people live along Lake Michigan’s shores, mainly in the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas. The economy of many communities in Michigan and Door County, Wisconsin is supported by tourism, with large seasonal populations attracted by the beauty and recreational activities offered by Lake Michigan.
4. Lake Huron
Another gigantic lake among the Great lakes of North America is Lake Huron with a surface area of 59600 square kilometers which makes it the fourth largest lake in the world. It was the first of the Great Lakes to be explored by the Europeans in the 1600s. The French explorers Samuel de Champlain and Étienne Brûlé reached Georgian Bay in 1615. It was named after the Wyandot Indians, or Hurons, who lived there.
But because it was the first of the Great Lakes to be explored by the French, they called it La Mer Douce, meaning fresh-water Sea which complements the huge size of the lake. And one last thing, the bottom of the lake is an impressive museum of wrecked ships. That’s one museum I’d love to visit.