The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (2023)

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (1)

The largest lakes in the world can be found spread over a variety of countries. From the Great Lakes of North America, to massive lakes across south east Africa, and the giant Baikal in Russia, these lakes are impressive examples of the Earth’s geography and longevity. From freshwater sources to habitat communities, these lakes play a key role in the healthy working of our planet Earth.

  1. Caspian Sea
  2. Lake Superior Lake
  3. Victoria Lake
  4. Huron Lake
  5. Michigan Lake
  6. Tanganyika Lake
  7. Baikal Lake
  8. Great Bear Lake
  9. Malawi Lake
  10. Great Slave Lake

1. Caspian Sea - 371,000 km2

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (2)

The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water on earth and the largest lake in the world. It borders Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran. The Caspian Sea is truly impressive and has a surface area of 371,000 km2 and a volume of 78,200 km3. It is an endorheic basin, which sits 27 meters below sea level. The water in the lake is slightly saline, but only about a third as salty as other open seas or oceans.

Read MoreCaspian Sea

2. Lake Superior Lake - 82,100 km2

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (3)

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes, with an area of 82,100 km2. It sits along the border between Canada and the United States of America, and has shorelines in the province of Ontario, as well as the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the upper peninsula of Michigan. Lake Superior also has the greatest volume of any of the Great Lakes, and in fact contains more water than all of the other four great lakes combined for a volume of 12,100 km3.

Read MoreLake Superior

(Video) Top 10 Largest Lakes in the World

3. Victoria Lake - 68,870km2

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (4)

Lake Victoria is the third largest lake in the world, with an area of 68,870km2, making it the largest lake in Africa. The lake borders the countries of Uganda, to the north, and Kenya and Tanzania to the East and South. The lake is known for its wildlife, and a number of fish species can be found in its freshwater, such as tilapia, perch, and many endemic species of cichlids. Some of these species are popular for fishing, though environmental concerns have begun to threaten the health of the lake.

Read MoreLake Victoria

4. Huron Lake - 59,570 km2

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (5)

Huron is another of the North American Great Lakes, which is located between the state of Michigan in the United States, and Ontario in Canada. It has a total surface area of 59,570 km2. Huron is one of the cleaner and clearer lakes within the Great Lakes system, and as such is home to a variety of fish species such as walleye, lake sturgeon, Alewife, Lake trout, and Lake whitefish. Lake Huron also contains some 30,000 islands, including Manitoulin Island, which is the world's largest freshwater island, and is home to more than 12,000 residents.

Read MoreLake Huron

5. Michigan Lake - 57,757 km2

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (6)

Lake Michigan measures roughly 57,757 km2 in surface area, and is the third largest lake in North America. It borders several of the United States including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, and is the largest lake found entirely within one country (the U.S.). Several major cities sit along its shores, including Milwaukee and Green Bay in Wisconsin; Chicago in Illinois; the city of Gary in Indiana; and Muskegon in Michigan. The lake is also home to the protected areas: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Warren Dunes State Park.

(Video) Top 10 Largest Lakes in the World

Read MoreLake Michigan

6. Tanganyika Lake - 32,600 km2

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (7)

Lake Tanganyika is located on the continent of Africa, and borders the countries of Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the longest freshwater lake in the world, with a length of 676 kilometers, and the third largest of any kind by volume (18,900 km3). The total surface area of the lake is 32,600 km2. It is also thought to be the second-oldest freshwater lake. Tanganyika is home to a large population of Nile crocodiles,various types of terrapin,cichlids and a wide variety of other fish, some of which are endemic to the area.

Read MoreLake Tanganyika

7. Baikal Lake - 23,600 km3

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (8)

Lake Baikal is located in a mountainous area of Russia, north of the Mongolian border. It has an area of 31,500 km2. It is also the deepest lake at 1637 meters, and the world’s largest lake by volume at 23,600 km3. Baikal is truly huge. It contains roughly 23% of the world's fresh surface water, which is more than all of the North American Great Lakes combined. It is also thought to be the world’s oldest lake, and it is estimated it dates back some 25–30 million years.

Read MoreLake Baikal

(Video) The 10 largest lakes in the world

8. Great Bear Lake - 31,000 km2

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (9)

Great Bear Lake has an area of 31,000 km2, and is the largest lake entirely in Canada. It can be found in the Boreal forests of Canada's Northwest Territories, at a latitude which crosses the Arctic Circle. This lake is often frozen, and is covered in ice from November to July. The lake also has large populations of northern fish such as Arctic grayling, Lake trout, Lake whitefish, Arctic char, which provide food sources for many in the local area.

Read MoreGreat Bear Lake

9. Malawi Lake - 29,500 km2

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (10)

Lake Malawi has a surface area of 29,500 km2. The lake borders three different countries in south east africa, namely malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. Malawi is an African Great Lake and is also the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system, meaning it is quite deep (706 meters at its deepest point). Lake Malawi is an extremely important lake due to its ecosystem. The lake is extremely high in biodiversity, and has more species of fish than any other lake in the world. Because of this, the lake is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and protected by law.

Read MoreLake Malawi

10. Great Slave Lake - 27,000 km2

The 10 Largest Lakes In The World (11)

Great Slave Lake is actually the deepest lake in North America with an average depth of 41 meters, but a maximum depth of 614 meters. In terms of surface area, it is the tenth largest in the world, at 27,000 km2. It is located in the northern part of Canada, in the Northwest Territories. More than half of the population of the Northwest territories live in five main communities around the lake, including in the territories’ capital, Yellowknife. The area is rich with wildlife, and fishing is important here commercially and locally for food. Species found in the lake include Arctic grayling, Lake trout, Northern pike, and Lake whitefish.

(Video) The LARGEST LAKES In The World

Read MoreGreat Slave Lake

30 Largest Lakes In The World

RankNameCountries with shorelineArea

1

Caspian Sea

Kazakhstan

Russia

Turkmenistan

Azerbaijan

Iran

371,000km2

2

Superior

Canada

United States

82,100km2

3

Victoria

Uganda

Kenya

Tanzania

68,870km2

4

Huron

Canada

United States

59,600km2

5

Michigan

United States

58,000km2

6

Tanganyika

Burundi

Tanzania

Zambia

Democratic Republic of the Congo

32,600km2

7

Baikal

Russia

31,500km2

8

Great Bear Lake

Canada

31,000km2

9

Malawi

Malawi

Mozambique

Tanzania

29,500km2

10

Great Slave Lake

Canada

27,000km2

11

Erie

Canada

United States

25,700km2

12

Winnipeg

Canada

24,514km2

13

Ontario

Canada

United States

18,960km2

14

Ladoga

Russia

18,130km2

15

Balkhash

Kazakhstan

16,400km2

16

Bangweulu

Zambia

15,100km2

17

Vostok

Antarctica

12,500km2

18

Onega

Russia

9,700km2

19

Titicaca

Bolivia

Peru

8,372km2

20

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

8,264km2

21

Athabasca

Canada

7,850km2

22

Turkana*

Ethiopia

Kenya

6,405km2

23

Reindeer Lake

Canada

6,330km2

24

Issyk-Kul

Kyrgyzstan

6,200km2

25

Urmia*

Iran

6,001km2

26

Vänern

Sweden

5,545km2

27

Winnipegosis

Canada

5,403km2

28

Albert

Uganda

Democratic Republic of the Congo

5,299km2

29

Mweru

Zambia

Democratic Republic of the Congo

5,120km2

30

Nettilling

Canada

5,066km2

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Carly Dodd October 31 2021 in Bodies of Water

(Video) Top 10 Largest Lakes in the World 2020

FAQs

What are the top 15 biggest lakes in the world? ›

List of world's largest lakes
  • Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan-Russia-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran. 143,250. 371,000. ...
  • Superior, U.S.-Canada. 31,820. ...
  • Victoria, Kenya-Tanzania-Uganda. 26,828. ...
  • Huron, U.S.-Canada. 23,010. ...
  • Michigan, U.S. 22,400. ...
  • Tanganyika, Tanzania-DRC-Burundi-Zambia. 12,700. ...
  • Baikal, Russia. 12,162. ...
  • Great Bear Lake, Canada. 12,000.

What is the number 1 largest lake in the world? ›

The largest lake in the world by a long shot is the Caspian Sea – a name that hints at a past when it was contiguous with the ocean around 11 million years ago. This massive saline lake, which is nearly the same size as Japan, borders five countries: Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran.

What is the #1 lake in America? ›

Lake Superior

What is the 1 deepest lake in the world? ›

Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15-million-ha Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world's total unfrozen freshwater reserve.

Where is the largest lake in the United States? ›

Lake Superior covers an area of 31,700 square miles and is therefore the largest lake in the U.S.

Where is the largest man made lake in the United States? ›

Lake Mead, Nevada

Named after Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Elwood Mead, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States, stretching 112 miles long with a total capacity of 28,255,000 acre-feet, a shoreline of 759 miles, and a maximum depth of 532 feet.

What is the oldest lake in the world? ›

Lake Baikal, the world's oldest and deepest freshwater lake, curves for nearly 400 miles through south-eastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border. At its deepest point it is over 5,000 feet (1,637 meters) deep.

What is the biggest fresh water lake in us? ›

Lake Superior, bordered by both the United States and Canada, is the largest freshwater lake in the world.

What are the 10 deepest lake in the world? ›

The 10 Deepest Lakes in the World
  • Lake Matano, Indonesia. ...
  • Crater Lake, USA. ...
  • Great Slave Lake, Canada. ...
  • Issyk-Kul or Lake Ysyk, Kyrgyzstan. ...
  • Lake Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. ...
  • O'Higgins/San Martín Lake, Chile and Argentina. ...
  • Lake Vostok, Antarctica. ...
  • Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia.
Nov 6, 2022

What is the only Great Lake 100% in the US? ›

6. Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that is entirely within U.S. territory. The Great Lakes touch 8 states – but Michigan is the only state that touches four lakes, with borders on Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie.

What is the cleanest lake in us? ›

Crater Lake, Oregon

Because Crater Lake isn't fed by any streams or rivers, scientists consider it to be the cleanest lake in the US and the entire world. It is also the clearest, with visibility up to 100 feet and sunlight pervading down some 400 feet.

What is the deepest lake in USA? ›

At 1,943 feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America. Famous for its beautiful blue color, the lake's water comes directly from snow or rain -- there are no inlets from other water sources.

What state has the most lakes? ›

Alaska is the state with the most naturally formed lakes, containing 3,197 lakes and over 3 million unnamed lakes.

What is the 2 deepest lake in the United States? ›

2. Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California. With a maximum depth of 1645 ft, Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the United States.

What is the oldest lake in the United States? ›

In Lake County, California, just north of Sonoma and Napa counties, is Clear Lake with a ripe, young age of 480,000—yes, nearly half a million years old—the oldest lake on the continent.

What is the longest man-made lake in the world? ›

Lake Kariba is the world's largest artificial lake and reservoir by volume. It lies 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
...
Lake Kariba
Max. width40 km (25 mi)
Surface area5,580 km2 (2,150 sq mi)
Average depth29 m (95 ft)
Max. depth97 m (318 ft)
12 more rows

Where is the largest freshwater lake in the world? ›

Located in Russia in the southern region of Siberia, Lake Baikal is the world's largest freshwater lake by both volume (22995 km3) and depth (1741m). Lake Baikal contains 20% of the world's fresh surface water. Lake Baikal hides its vast waters under a relatively small surface area (31500 km2).

What is the largest saltwater lake in the United States? ›

The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Utah, is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere, and the eighth-largest terminal lake in the world.

What is the largest lake in the US borders? ›

Lake Superior

To put that in perspective, the number represents about 400,000 gallons of water for every person on the planet, according to Lakelubbers. Not only is Lake Superior the biggest lake in the U.S., but it's also the cleanest, coldest, and deepest of the five Great Lakes.

What is the deepest ocean in the world? ›

The deepest part of the ocean is called the Challenger Deep and is located beneath the western Pacific Ocean in the southern end of the Mariana Trench, which runs several hundred kilometers southwest of the U.S. territorial island of Guam. Challenger Deep is approximately 10,935 meters (35,876 feet) deep.

How many lakes are in the US? ›

There are about three million lakes in the United States, although the majority of them are located in Alaska and are the result of seasonal snowmelt. In the lower 48 states, there are estimated to be about 125,000 lakes (defined as a mass of water larger than twenty acres in size).

Why we destroyed the world's 4th largest lake? ›

Formerly the fourth largest lake in the world with an area of 68,000 km2 (26,300 sq mi), the Aral Sea began shrinking in the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects.

Which country has most lakes? ›

Canada. While the U.S. boasts many impressive lakes, Canada takes the cake for the country with the most lakes in the world. In fact, Canada contains more lakes than the rest of the world combined.

Is Lake Michigan the largest lake in the world? ›

Lake Michigan is the third largest of the Great Lakes and ranks as the fifth largest lake in the world (by surface area). Source: Lake Michigan Basin statistics map produced by Michigan Sea Grant/Michigan State University Extension (2000).

How many natural lakes are in the US? ›

The United States has about 250 fresh-water lakes that are known to have surface areas of 10 square miles or more. Nearly 100 of these are in Alaska, and 100 in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York,, and Maine.

What is the largest water reservoir on earth? ›

Water is stored on the Earth's surface in a number of places called reservoirs.
  • Oceans. By far the largest reservoir is the ocean, which contains 96% of the Earth's water and occupies more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface. ...
  • Glaciers. Freshwater makes up only about 4% of the Earth's water. ...
  • Groundwater.

Where is the world's largest reservoir? ›

Three Gorges Dam, China is the world's largest hydroelectric facility. Accroding to Wikimedia, the Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, China.

How long would it take the Mississippi River to fill Lake Mead? ›

“Lake Mead has a somewhat larger shortage, about 8 trillion gallons, but it could be filled in about 370 days at 250,000 gallons/sec.”

What is the purest lake on Earth? ›

Blue Lake. Located in the top half of New Zealand's South Island, Blue Lake is said to be the clearest lake in the world. Its waters are fed by another lake that sits above its height of 1,200 meters above sea level.

Which lake is human made? ›

Gobind Ballabh Pant Sagar located in Sonebhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, is the biggest man-made lake of India. The lake is created by the reservoir of Rihand Dam. Similarly, Dhebar Lake, which is also called as Jaisamand Lake and is located in Udaipur district of Rajasthan, is the second biggest man-made lake.

What is the world smallest lake? ›

Welcome to Liaoning. Benxi Lake in Liaoning Province was lately approved by Guinness World Records as “the world's smallest lake”. The lake was named after Benxi City where it is located. As a natural lake, Benxi Lake is only 15 m² large, yet the water is quite clear.

What is the largest lake in Florida? ›

Lake Okeechobee, lake in southeastern Florida, U.S., and the third largest freshwater lake wholly within the country (after Lake Michigan and Iliamna Lake, Alaska).

What is the biggest landlocked lake in the United States? ›

Lake Superior is the largest lake in the United States. This lake shares shorelines with Michigan, Minnesota, and parts of Ontario.

What is the largest pond in the United States? ›

The largest great pond in Maine named Great Pond is located in Kennebec County and is part of the Kennebec River watershed. There are several other, smaller ponds named Great Pond in Maine and New England.
...
Great Pond
Residence time2.3 years
Shore length146.1 miles (74.2 km)
Surface elevation248 feet (76 m)
18 more rows

What is the 2 biggest lake in the world? ›

2. Lake Superior. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake and the second largest lake in the world by surface area.

What are the 20 deepest lake in the world? ›

Lakes ranked by maximum depth
  • Baikal. Russia. Southern Siberia. ...
  • Tanganyika. Tanzania. Democratic Republic of the Congo. ...
  • (Caspian Sea) Kazakhstan. Turkmenistan. ...
  • Vostok. Antarctica. Under the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. ...
  • Viedma. Argentina. Santa Cruz Province. ...
  • O'Higgins-San Martín. Chile. Argentina. ...
  • Malawi. Malawi. ...
  • Issyk Kul. Kyrgyzstan.

Who owns the Great Lakes? ›

The water in the Great Lakes is owned by the general public according to the Public Trust Doctrine. The Public Trust Doctrine is an international legal theory – it applies in both Canada and the United States, so it applies to the entirety of the Great Lakes.

Are any Great Lakes saltwater? ›

The Great Lakes are freshwater ecosystems. Traditionally, Lake Michigan, for example, has been a very low-salt lake, with levels around one milligram of chloride per liter of water. Over the years, due to our increased salt use, that level has steadily but gradually climbed up to 15 milligrams per liter.

Can you drink from Lake Superior? ›

Yes you can drink lake superior water. However, if drinking straight from the lake it always recommended to boil the water before consuming. Many cities and towns along the lake utilize its water.

What are the 5 Famous Great Lakes? ›

The Great Lakes are, from west to east: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario. They are a dominant part of the physical and cultural heritage of North America.

What are the top 10 deepest lake in the US? ›

The 15 Deepest Lakes in the United States
  • Crater Lake, Oregon (1,943 feet)
  • Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California (1,645 feet)
  • Lake Chelan, Washington (1,486 feet)
  • Lake Superior, Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota (1,333 feet)
  • Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho (1,150)
  • Lake Clark, Alaska (1,056 feet)
  • Illiamna, Alaska (988 feet)

What is the longest man made lake in the world? ›

Lake Kariba is the world's largest artificial lake and reservoir by volume. It lies 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
...
Lake Kariba
Max. width40 km (25 mi)
Surface area5,580 km2 (2,150 sq mi)
Average depth29 m (95 ft)
Max. depth97 m (318 ft)
12 more rows

Where is the deepest water in the world? ›

The deepest part of the ocean is called the Challenger Deep and is located beneath the western Pacific Ocean in the southern end of the Mariana Trench, which runs several hundred kilometers southwest of the U.S. territorial island of Guam. Challenger Deep is approximately 10,935 meters (35,876 feet) deep.

Is the largest human made lake in the world? ›

Lake Kariba is the world's largest man-made lake by volume, but not by surface area. The reservoir covers 2,150 square miles and is approximately 140 miles long by 20 miles wide. Lake Kariba is located between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

What's the cleanest Great Lake? ›

Surface area: 82,097 square kms. Watershed's surface: 209,000 square kms. Lake Superior is the largest, cleanest, and wildest of all the Great Lakes.

Which is the prettiest Great Lake? ›

1. Lake Huron. Lake Huron, the second-largest of the Great Lakes, tops the list for its pristine turquoise waters, unparalleled shoreline sunrises, numerous lakeside parks, gorgeous beaches, and historic lighthouses. French explorers proclaimed it La Mer Douce, “the freshwater sea.”

Which Great Lake has the nicest water? ›

Lake Superior is the Cleanest and Clearest Great Lake

Because of its somewhat isolated location and long cold winters, not much farming is done along Superior's shores.

What is the purest lake in the US? ›

Crater Lake, Oregon

Because Crater Lake isn't fed by any streams or rivers, scientists consider it to be the cleanest lake in the US and the entire world. It is also the clearest, with visibility up to 100 feet and sunlight pervading down some 400 feet.

What is the warmest lake in the US? ›

Emerald Lake

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