Who would have thought that there were 117 million lakes in the world? Lakes are a much-neglected natural phenomenon that provides clues to our prehistoric heritage and also clues and resources as to how the world was formed.

They have so many different properties and facets and occur all over the planet. The Great Lakes in the United States and Canada are almost unreal in their size. The shores of the Great Lakes combine to make a circumference that would make up nearly half the circumference of the earth.

Some are visible from space and differ in composition from a freshwater lake full of fish to an alien landscape in a polar setting. These bodies of water form on volcanoes, they provide boiling water, salt water, and freshwater. Their rich variety offers the world so many natural resources far beyond the natural beauty of the lakes of countries like Canada. Canada is home to the most lakes of any land mass in the world. Their beauty has made them subjects for adorning many a picture postcard and box of chocolates as a result.

They are home to sea monsters and have seen battles and shipwrecks aplenty. Some are even home to paranormal experiences that are as yet unexplained. Lakes are a fascinating natural occurrence that provides so many clues to our planet.

22 15. Lake Effect Snow

There are unique weather conditions around the Great Lakes, and one of these is called lake effect snow. According to Miseagrant, the Great Lakes is one of only three places on earth where lake effect snow occurs.

It can mean that colossal amounts of deep snowfall in a relatively short space of time in some Great Lake regions. It is caused by cold air, namely from Canada, sweeping in and meeting the relatively warm water of the lakes. This set of circumstances can cause snowfall of up to 12 inches in an hour.

21 14. Isle Royale Contains Lakes Within a Lake

Isle Royale is a rugged island within Lake Superior and is the largest island within the Michigan lake. It has several lakes on the island, including the largest, Siskiwit Lake, that also has islands on it.

One of these islands, Ryan Island, contains Moose Flats. This is a pond that contains a boulder that is considered an island. This makes Moose Boulder an island on a lake, on an island on a lake according to Kids.kiddle. The bizarre phenomenon is a popular haunt for that intent on finding an outdoor adventure, including camping, fishing, and kayaking.

20 12. It Takes 200 Years for Lake Superior to Refill Itself

The water in Lake Superior leaves through very small outlets, which means it takes an estimated two centuries for all the water in the lake to completely be replaced and for the lake to refill itself. The 1.2-billion-year-old lake has a number of tributaries that feed into it, but because of its huge size, the water is replaced at this slow pace.

This is quite some feat as the lake contains 3 quadrillion gallons of water. This, the largest body of freshwater in the world sinks to over 1300 feet at its deepest point. Although parts of the lake freezes over, it never achieves a full freeze because of the enormous surface area.

19 11. There are 100 Million Lake Trout in Lake Superior

Many lakes can boast a healthy supply of fish, but the clean waters of Lake Superior can top them all with an estimated 100 million lake trout living within its banks. In addition to the trout, there are around 80 species of fish living within the lake, including perch and salmon.

The lake trout live in the deepest part of the lake and according to Wilderness Classroom are at the top of the food chain. The largest lake trout caught in the lake was a massive 63 pounds in weight.

18 10. Monster ‘Bessie’ in Lake Erie

According to Michigan folk legend, there is a lake monster in Lake Erie known as Bessie, first sighted in the eighteenth century. It has been described as between twenty and thirty feet long, and like a large fish but with arms.

Other reported sightings of Bessie describe how it churns up the waters as if fighting with an enemy and having sparkling eyes and enormous fins. The most recent sightings were in the 1990s, leading to a local businessman offering a reward for anyone who could bring the slain Bessie to shore.

17 9. In 1812 There was a Battle on Lake Erie

The battle took place on Lake Erie between the United States and the British. It was one of the biggest battles of the 1812 war and ensured that the United States retained control of the lake for the duration of the war.

Indeed, this battle was seen as the turning point of the entire war. It boosted morale within the American troops and gave them security against an invasion from the north, reports Pabook.libraries. It was a fierce battle with many casualties but removed the British from commanding the lake and nearby Detroit.

16 8. The Circumference of the Great Lakes is Almost Half that of Earth

There are around seventeen and a half thousand miles of coastline that makes up the Great Lakes, and if this circumference was placed around the earth it would make up nearly 44 percent of the circumference of the globe.

This fact is quite amazing but reminds us how enormous the Great Lakes are. These bodies of water that sit within America and Canada contain so much fresh water that one day they could be the envy of the world, as the amount of water contained within them would sustain many people for many years, while other parts of the world would struggle to maintain an adequate supply.

15 7. Lake Huron Sits Above the Largest Salt Mine in the World

Reached only by a network of tunnels, underneath Lake Huron is the largest salt mine in the world. The mine produces salt that we enjoy in our foods, on our tables and protects our cars during snowy weather. The mine near Goderich is over 1,640 feet below the surface of the land.

According to The Star, the mine is a beautiful sparkling area with columns of salt reaching twenty feet high. The mine, which reaches two miles out toward the center of Lake Huron is an underground labyrinth of salty spaces.

14 6. Lake Huron Contains its Own Unique Ecosystems

The fifth largest lake in the world holds an interesting story beneath its surface. The lake contains deep sinkholes that contain their own ecosystems that mirror those that existed on earth millions of years ago.

Sixty-five feet below the surface of the freshwater lake exist these salty time capsules where life is quite different from the rest of the lake. There is a high in sulfur content and a low oxygen level that makes the marine life there quite prehistoric in character. These sinkholes were only discovered this century and because no sunlight shines there and they are so far down, little research has been done into the areas as yet.

13 5. Lake Michigan Has an Area Similar to the Bermuda Triangle

According to Atlas Obscura there is an area of paranormal activity within Lake Michigan that can boast as many strange happenings as the better known Bermuda Triangle. The mystery of the lake began in 1891 when a sailor left in search of timber and was never seen again. Not even a piece of wood from his boat was ever discovered.

There have been suggestions that the triangle is a time portal and sightings of UFOs have been reported in the vicinity. Modern sailors tend to avoid the area which is known for freak weather conditions and odd occurrences.

12 4. A Home Run in Toronto Put a Ball in Lake Ontario

In 1914, the baseball player Babe Ruth hit a ball into the air that shot out of the grounds of the baseball stadium to score a home run. The ball was never discovered, and there were strong suspicions that the ball landed in the waters of Lake Ontario.

This was the theory that continued down the years and in 1985 a plaque was unveiled commemorating the home run and the lost ball, according to WBUR. Whether or not the story is true, Toronto citizens love to tell the story and to believe it.

11 3. There is a Ghost Town on the Shores of Lake Michigan Called Singapore

The ghost town of Singapore is a casualty of the great fires that ravaged the Michigan area in the late nineteenth century. Although the town now lies beneath sand dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan, it was once a thriving town.

Originating in 1836, Singapore was home to mills, hotels, and industry in its heyday. It survived a blizzard in the 1840s thanks to the supplies of a shipwreck nearby. However, the fires that devastated the area removed the forest barrier from the town and it was completely uninhabited by 1875.

10 2. Only One Lake Michigan is Completely Within US Borders

Lake Michigan is the only one of the five Great Lakes that falls completely within the US borders. All the others share their borders with Canada. The lake borders many US states, those being Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and of course Michigan. The word Michigan means ‘great water’ and the lake was named first.

It lies within the American Midwest and its shores are home to 12 million Americans mainly in Chicago and Milwaukee. The lake provides freshwater to the surrounding inhabitants and is trying to address the problem of pollution from an industry that has been tarnishing the lake.

9 1. Hydrologically Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are One Lake

Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are linked by the Straits of Mackinac which, hydrologically speaking, makes them one body of water, so one lake. They have the same surface elevation which creates this hydrological phenomenon.

Apparently, the 14,410 square miles of water that the two lakes comprise, was wrongly named two lakes by those who discovered the lakes. They believed that they were two separate bodies of water instead of two lobes of one. The strait that joins the two lobes is up to five miles wide in places, so it is seen by some as a thin area of the one lake.

8 Lakes of the World: Canada has More Lakes than the Rest of the World Put Together

Canada has an abundance of natural resources, with lakes being a major feature. In fact, nine percent of the area of Canada is made up of lakes. Each province and territory in Canada has lakes, and major cities including Toronto border many of them.

Apart from the Great Lakes that fall into some Canadian territory, there are also famous lakes such as Lake Louise, Lake Winnipeg, and Great Bear Lake. Lake Wedgemount contains the most vibrant turquoise waters surrounded by scenery that mirrors a lunar landscape. Visitors flock to the lakes for their natural beauty and some who prefer to visit by car can attempt the two hundred mile trip around the enormous Lake Superior.

7 Lakes of the World: Lake Laguna Colorada in Bolivia has Blood Red Water

Lake Laguna is a saltwater lake that covers around sixty square kilometers in area. The most prominent feature of the lake is the orangey-red color of the water. This is broken up by white areas of water that are colored by borax, which is naturally occurring in the water. These borax pools are surrounded by yellow sulfur, giving a very colorful landscape.

With the Andes and their snowy peaks in the background, the landscape of Lake Laguna is quite unique. The red coloration of the water is from red algae in the water, sediment in the lake and pigmentation of microorganisms that live in the lake.

6 Lakes of the World: Dominica’s Boiling Lake has Water Temperatures to 197 Degrees ℉

This remote lake is a three or four-hour hike from the nearest village. Once reached, visitors will find a boiling body of water that is colored blue to grey and is usually covered with a cloud of water vapor.

It is around 63 kilometers long and no one quite knows how deep it is, according to A Virtual Dominica. The sides of the lake are made of clay and pumice and can be very slippery thanks to the water vapor from the lake. The heat of the water is caused by porous stone on the bed of the lake that seeps down to lava beneath that heats the water to the boiling point.

5 Lakes of the World: Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, 16 Lakes Connected by Waterfalls and Caves

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is Croatia’s most popular tourist attraction. The lakes all fall within a national park and there are sixteen lakes in total. These lakes are connected by a series of beautiful waterfalls and form a length of around eight kilometers.

There is obviously a great height difference between the waterfalls but only a 135-meter difference between the surfaces of the actual lakes that are divided into Upper and Lower. There are over 90 waterfalls in this amazing park and numerous caves and caverns all in a dense and beautiful forest.

4 Lakes of the World: the Aral Sea has Turned into a Desert, It’s Now 10 Percent of its Original Size

In the 1960s, Russia embarked on a project of water diversion to irrigate areas of desert that desperately needed the water. However, this project devastated the Aral Sea. This once dense, lush area was decimated to 10 percent of its original size, killing marine and wildlife.

Fisheries and industries that depended on the lake have collapsed and the remaining water has become polluted and infested with dust from the dried-out lake bed. Salt from the water ended up on nearby farmland, devastating the soil. The devastation of the Aral Sea is one of the largest natural disasters in modern times.

3 Lakes of the World: Pitch Lake in Trinidad, the Largest Natural Deposit of Asphalt in the World

Pitch Lake in Trinidad gives visitors the chance to view the largest natural deposit of asphalt anywhere on the planet. There are only two other natural asphalt lakes in the world. Pitch Lake is regarded as so amazing that some have called it the eighth wonder of the world.

The lake was created millions of years ago and moving of the earth’s plates and the influence of a volcanic activity resulted in the mixture of oil, clay, and water that produces asphalt. The lake is extensively mined and around 10 million tons of asphalt have been extracted to date.