largest lakes

Largest Lakes in the World

Largest Lakes in the World List

Frequently Asked Question - FAQs About The Largest Lakes in the World
  • What is the biggest lake in the world?
    • The Caspian Sea is the biggest lake in the world, although there is some controversy as to whether it’s really a lake. It’s salty (1/3 as salty as normal seawater) which is why the Romans named it a sea rather than a lake. But, because the Caspian Sea is land-locked it meets the usual definition of a lake.
  • Where does the water in lakes come from?
    • As rain “direct precipitation”, from higher ground and from underground springs.
  • Is lake water fresh or salty?
    • A bit of both actually. Because most lakes are frequently topped up with fresh rainwater lakes tend to have a lower salinity than seawater. Rainwater that falls on land and flows into a lake dissolves minerals, including salt, which increases the overall salinity of the water in that lake.
  • Where is the saltiest lake on the planet?
    • That dubious honor goes to Lake Don Juan in Antarctica. Although the temperatures gets as low as -50C the lake doesn’t freeze because the water is too salty – 18 times more salty than seawater!

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Largest Lakes in the World Location Area (mi²) Area (km²) Depth (ft) Depth (m) Water Volume (mi3) Water Volume (km3) #
Caspian Sea Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran 149228 386500 3363 1025 18761 78200 1
Lake Superior USA, Canada 31700 82103 1329 405 2903 12100 2
Lake Victoria Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda 26827 69484 266 81 662 2760 3
Lake Huron USA, Canada 23000 59570 751 229 852 3550 4
Lake Michigan USA 22342 57866 922 281 1180 4920 5
Lake Tanganyika Zambia, Tanzania, Congo 12700 32893 4708 1435 4534 18900 6
Big Bear Lake Canada 12276 31795 1463 446 537 2240 7
Lake Baikal Russia 12158 31490 5371 1637 5662 23600 8
Great Slave Lake Canada 11031 28570 2014 614 480 2000 9
Lake Erie USA, Canada 9910 25667 210 64 120 500 10
Lake Winnipeg Canada 9416 24390 59 18 68 285 11
Lake Malawi Malawi, Mozambique 8996 23300 2280 695 2015 8400 12
Lake Ontario USA, Canada 7340 19011 801 244 393 1640 13
Lake Balkhash Kazakhstan 7115 18428 85 26 25 105 14
Ladoga Lake Russia 6835 17703 755 230 218 910 15
Lake Vostok Antarctica (under ice) 6062 15700 3280 (up to) 1000 (up to) 1296 5400 16
Lake Maracaibo Venezuela 5216 13512 115 35 Not specified Not specified 17
Lake Onega Russia 3752 9720 394 120 67 280 18
Lake Eyre Australia 3600 9323 4.9 1.5 Not specified Not specified 19
Lake Titicaca Peru Bolivia 3200 8288 922 281 214 893 20
Lake Nicaragua Nicaragua 3187 8256 148 45 Not specified Not specified 21
Lake Athabasca Canada 3031 7850 797 243 49 204 22
Reindeer Lake Canada 2568 6650 1106 337 4294 17900 23
Lake Turkana Kenya, Ethiopia 2471 6400 240 73 49 204 24

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