Inland bodies of water, or lakes, are serene getaways for many of us. Their waters provide mammals, waterfowl, insects, and creepy-crawlies with homes and essential nourishment. Created from the tectonic movement of the earth, lakes continually warp, tilt, fold and change their geologic shape. Their waters are replenished by thawing snow, rain and water combining from rivers, streams, groundwater, and underground springs.

People visit lakes in various countries across the globe for recreational activities, amenities, scenery and family fun. What we want to know is which lakes are the biggest in the world—so let us find out!

Caspian Sea

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The Caspian Sea comes in at number one with an estimated 371,000 square kilometers. Its shores border Iran, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The total volume is 78,000 kilometers of water, which is about 3.5 times more water than all five of the Great Lakes in the United States combined. In addition, the Caspian Sea is the third deepest lake in the world; the deepest part of the lake is 1,025 meters. Although the Caspian Sea is not a fresh lake, it is the world’s largest inland body of water.

Lake Superior

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According to Live Science, Lake Superior is the largest body of fresh water on Earth. The lake is estimated at 82,414 square kilometers. In addition, the name “superior” refers to the lake’s size and designated position in North America. Lake Superior’s shoreline borders Canada and the United States. It is the second-largest lake by volume of any kind in the world and is the largest in North America. The farthest extent of Lake Superior is 563 kilometers long, 257 kilometers wide, and has a massive depth of 406 meters. Lake Superior water flows into Lake Huron.

Lake Victoria

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Lake Victoria, which is referred to as Victoria Nyanza, is estimated at 69,485 square kilometers. As Africa’s largest lake, its shores border Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Lake Victoria is the world’s largest tropical lake and has the second largest amount of fresh water. The lake was named after Queen Victoria, and it is fed by inflows from the caterer rivers. This lake is relatively shallow with a depth of 40 meters and a maximum depth of 84 meters.

Lake Huron

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Lake Huron comes in at an estimated 59,596 square kilometers and resides between Michigan and Ontario, Canada. It is one of North America’s Great Lakes. The lake itself is the fourth largest lake and the third largest freshwater lake in the world.

It measures 331 kilometers long and 295 kilometers wide. The deepest point of the lake is 129 meters, and its average depth of water is 59 meters. Lake Huron was formed by the movement of glaciers, and its main flow is through St. Mary’s River. Another fun fact about Lake Huron is that the lake is the home of Manitoulin Island, the largest lake island in the world.

Lake Michigan

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Lake Michigan is estimated at 58,016 square kilometers and is one of the Great Lakes of North America. Unlike the other lakes, this lake resides entirely within the United States. The lake is 494 kilometers long by 190 kilometers wide, and has over 2,575 kilometers of shoreline. The basin of Lake Michigan is joined to the base of Lake Huron to the east. The lake reaches down to 282 meters at its deepest point. Like many other lakes in North America, Lake Michigan was formed by glacial movement. The lake is connected to the ocean by manmade waters and canals, such as St. Lawrence and Great Lakes channels.

Great Slave Lake

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The Great Slave Lake may be number 10 in size, but it is selected here because it is also the deepest lake in North America, coming in at a depth of 2,014 feet. It is located in Northwest Canada, with an estimated 28,930 square kilometers. This lake receives inflow from the Hay River, and it drains into the Mackenzie River. The Mackenzie River flows into the Beaufort Sea. The Great Slave Lake was formed in Wisconsin from glacier movement over 10,000 years ago.

Seasons, snow packs, rainfall, and regional climate all impact the size and volume of lakes. They are integrated into the migration patterns and as a rest stop, year to year for numerous species. Each of them has a special beauty that holds life-sustaining water for fowl, flora, animals, sea creatures, and humans.