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Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

Which Is the World’s Largest Lake?

Which Is the World’s Largest Lake?

Imagine a lake almost as big as the entire state of California. That’s the size of the Caspian Sea. It is the largest lake in the world. It is called a sea because its water is salty. Most of this lake is in the ex Soviet Union.

In the lake there are many fish, including sturgeon. The sturgeon’s black eggs comprise much of the world’s caviar supply. The Caspian is slowly shrinking. The rivers that empty into it, including the famous Volga River, are being drained by agriculture and industry, and they bring it less water than it loses by evaporation.

Lake Baikal is the world’s largest freshwater lake in terms of volume. It contains about 5521 cubic miles of water (23,000 cubic kilometers), or approximately 20% of Earth’s fresh surface water. This is a volume of water approximately equivalent to all five of the North American Great Lakes combined.

The salty Caspian Sea has the greatest surface area of any lake at 143,200 square miles (370,886 square kilometers). Lake Superior, on the United States/Canada border is the named freshwater lake with the greatest surface area at 31,700 square miles (82,103 square kilometers).

However, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron can technically be considered a single lake because they both have the same surface elevation and they are connected by the Mackinac Straight (which is not a river because the water does not have a consistent flow direction).

So, Lake Michigan-Huron can be considered the largest fresh-water lake in the world. It has a total surface area of 45,410 square miles (117,611 square kilometers) which is significantly larger than Lake Superior. The total water volume in Lake Michigan-Huron is much smaller than the volume of Lake Baikal at 2,030 cubic miles (8443 cubic kilometers).

Content for this question contributed by Susan Corbin, resident of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA