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Great Lakes Fun Facts: Exploring the World’s Largest Freshwater Lakes

Posted by Nautical Wood Maps on

The Great Lakes are among the most famous bodies of water in the world, and with good reason. These five lakes cover more than 94,000 square miles and are as beautiful as they are fascinating. In addition to acting as a vital waterway for North American industry, they are also popular for recreational activities, with so much to discover and explore.

The Great Lakes Fun Facts

  • They are the world’s largest body of freshwater
  • The lakes formed when a glacier melted over 13,000 years ago, filling the crevices left behind with water
  • The length of their combined shorelines could encompass nearly half of the globe’s circumference (44%)
  • You can remember the names of all five lakes using the mnemonic device HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior)

Lake Huron Fun Facts

  • Home to the world’s largest salt mine, Goderich Mine, which runs partially underneath the lake
  • Structures from prehistoric animal herders have been discovered under the waters of Lake Huron, from before the water levels rose
  • Has the longest shoreline of all of the Great Lakes, at 3,827 miles

Lake Ontario Fun Facts

  • Although it is the smallest of the Great Lakes, it is still the fourteenth largest lake in the world
  • While it is often assumed that the lake is named after Ontario, Canada, the name of the lake came first with the territory named after the lake
  • Contains the Thousand Islands, a region which actually includes 1,864 islands on the border of the United States and Canada

Lake Michigan Fun Facts

  • Includes the world’s largest fresh water sand dunes
  • Ice balls which form when the lake falls below freezing and wash up on shore have become an annual viral sensation
  • “The Lake Michigan Triangle” is considered by some to be the home to strange disappearances and sightings, akin to the Bermuda Triangle, and runs between Manitowac, Wisconsin; Ludington, Michigan; and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Lake Erie Fun Facts

  • Contains the most industrial business of all five lakes
  • Provides drinking water to over 11 million people in both the United States and Canada
  • Was the site of a United States naval victory over Britain in the War of 1812

Lake Superior Fun Facts

  • As the name implies, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, capable of containing all four of the other Great Lakes along with room for Lake Erie three more times
  • Lake superior contains 10% of Earth’s fresh surface water, enough water to submerge all of the Americas in over a foot of water, due to being the deepest of the Great Lakes at 1,335 feet
  • The clearest of the five lakes, Lake Superior has average water visibility of 27 feet

The Great Lakes are some of the most geographically fascinating bodies of water on the planet. Each lake has its own unique features, from interesting shore lines to the variation in depths each lake reaches. From seasoned seafarers to landlocked visitors, everyone can appreciate the beauty of these natural wonders.

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