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10 of the Biggest, Largest Lakes in the World

Updated on October 21, 2010

 If you had to name the largest lake in the world, would you be able to do it? If you’ve done your research on the topic then you’ll know that the largest lake in the world is actually the Caspian Sea. Most people don’t realize that because the word “sea” in the name of the lake throws them off. In fact, many people will try to argue about that with you if you tell them that the Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world. Here is some more information about that along with information about nine other huge lakes that you can find somewhere on this planet.

1. Caspian Sea. The Caspian Sea is over 143,000 square miles in size. This makes it the largest enclosed body of water in the world. There is a lot of debate about what type of body of water it is though. Some people will tell you that it’s truly a sea. Others will say that it’s a small ocean. But, in general, it is considered to be a lake and therefore is the largest lake in the world. It is a salt water lake located in the general region between Russia and Northern Iran although other nations including Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan also claim some rights to the lake.

2. Lake Maracaibo. This is another huge body of water that is considered by some to basically be a small ocean. It is considerably smaller than the Caspian Sea at only 5,000 square miles but it is the largest lake in South America. (It is located in Venezuela.) As with the Caspian Sea, there are some people who say it’s not really a lake. Most often, it is cited as a bay instead. It was definitely a lake at one time though and it is considered to be one of the oldest lakes in the world.

3. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Although most people consider these two Great Lakes of the United States to be separate lakes, they are actually a single, joined body of water. At over 45,00 square miles combined, they make up one of the largest single lakes in the world.

4. Lake Superior. This is another one of the Great Lakes at the border of the United States and Canada. There is a reason that this set of lakes is called the Great Lakes – they really are massively huge. This one is over 31,000 square miles in size. It is considered to be the largest of the Great Lakes by those people who count Lake Michigan and Lake Huron as two separate lakes since they are individually each smaller than Lake Superior.

5. Lake Victoria. Did you know that the Great Lakes of the United States are not the only set of Great Lakes in the world? There are also the Great Lakes of Africa. The largest of those lakes is Lake Victoria. It is over 26,000 square miles in size which makes it the second largest continental lake in the world if you count Lake Superior as the largest and Lake Michigan and Lake Huron as two separate lakes. This one is located in the area of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

6. Lake Tanganyika. This is another lake in Africa that is huge and it also has the distinction of being the second deepest lake in the entire world. It is over 12,000 square miles in size and has an average depth of 1900 feet. It is located in central Africa near Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia.

7. Lake Baikal. The lake that holds the record for being the deepest lake in the world is this one located in Russia. It is also impressive in its general size. It is over 12,000 square feet in size and only about 500 square feet smaller than Lake Tanganyika. Because of its greater depth (averaging nearly 2500 feet), it could certainly be considered the bigger of the two lakes depending on how you were doing your measurements.

8. Great Bear Lake. This is a Canadian lake located near the Arctic Circle. It is the largest lake that exists entirely within Canada since the other large lakes associated with this country are the Great Lakes that Canada shares with the United States. It is around 12,000 square miles in size which seems to be a good average size for a large lake in our world!

9. Great Slave Lake. This is another big lake in Canada that is about 1000 square miles smaller than Great Bear Lake. It is located in the same vicinity and is often said to be “just behind Great Bear Lake”. Although it is not as big as that lake, it is deeper. In fact, with a depth of over 2000 feet, it is one of the deepest lakes in the world and definitively the deepest in North America.

10. Lake Malawi. This is another large lake in Africa located near the country of the same name. The reason that people are interested in this lake is not because of its size (which is comparable to the other large lakes in the last half of this list) but rather because it is known for being the lake that has more different types of species of fish than any other lake on the entire planet!

These are just ten of the largest lakes in the world. There are many other big lakes of interest to those people who want to explore the large bodies of enclosed water that exist in this country. For example, there is Lake Eyre, the largest lake on the continent of Australia. Or there is Lake Ladoga, a lake located in Russia and Finland which has the distinction of being the largest lake in Europe. Or Lake Titicaca, a funny sounding lake that is the largest freshwater lake in South America. If you wanted to tour the world’s great lakes, you would certainly have a lot to see!


Submit a Comment
  • prairieprincess profile image

    Sharilee Swaity 

    8 years ago from Canada

    Kathryn, I loved this. I used to work in the far North and was posted a few hours from Great Slave Lake. This is the Artic where it doesn't really get dark in the summer at all.

    I find lakes of this size so fascinating because like you said, they are more like an ocean than a lake, and to me, they are kind of intimidating because of their size. Lovely hub with a great topic!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Where lake Air???

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    this is a really good informational hub for school because my teaccher goes crazy about h.w but it is also good for my nollege.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    the dog s are cute in the in

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    I am a student i wrote a report on this and my teacher was very impressed.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    ere is the lake

  • Gypsy Willow profile image

    Gypsy Willow 

    9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

    I live at Lake Tahoe which is considered a big lake in Nevada but no where near the lakes you list. Enjoyed reading about them, thanks.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    your just soo bum...:)

  • Gayatrimadhu profile image


    9 years ago from Bangalore

    This is really a nice and informative hub. Keep writing on geographical topics like this.

  • dusy7969 profile image


    9 years ago from San Diego, California

    Great hub.This hub is very informative and useful.My house is near the lakes.I like this hub.This hub provide the latest information for me which I don't know biggest lakes in the thanks a lot for this good information and sharing.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    thank u

  • jennifercriston profile image


    9 years ago from Oxford Road

    want to see some of them in future.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    An interesting read! I like the information shared here. Keep posting more like this.

  • Ben Zoltak profile image

    Ben Zoltak 

    9 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

    Beautiful hub, oh how I want to see Lake Titicaca! Did you know they have sea horses there? So strange.

    I lived for many years along Lake Michigan in Milwaukee and Chicago and Lake Michigan can get pretty dirty nowadays with all the human pollution unfortunaetly. The sound of it's massive waves is nontheless wonderful. Everyyear in my hometown "Polar bears" aka mostly drunk people, jump into the chilling lake on New Years day.

    This is the first time I've heard of Huron being the same as Michigan! LOL, sure they're connected, but isn't all water connected?

    Fun article, well done.


  • lender3212000 profile image


    9 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

    Lake Superior has always been one of my favorites! I used to vacation there when I was younger and it became quite the special place for me, very peaceful and relaxing. Great hub!

  • someonewhoknows profile image


    9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

    With all the rain California has been getting lately they may just might have a great lake soon!

  • brimancandy profile image


    9 years ago from Northern Michigan Reed City

    I live in Grand Rapids Michigan, and I spend a lot of time at the Lake Michigan beaches. I have pretty much visited all of the great lakes at one time or another. Mostly lake Michigan and Lake Erie. But there are quite a few large lakes in Michigan. Houghton lake is a good sized lake, and Lake Saint Clare outside of Detroit is quite large too.

    In fact, there was talk that they might name Lake St. Clair as the 6th great lake. But not sure if they ever did. Lake Erie was considered one of the most polluted lakes years ago. I wonder where Lake Erie and Lake Ontario would fall on your list. Or Hudson Bay.

  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 

    9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    I love Lake Michigan but agree BC is beautiful!

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    It's very educational.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Oh those all look wonderful, but I am biased, BC has the most beautiful lakes and so much more to see and do when it comes to the outdoors

  • stephhicks68 profile image

    Stephanie Marshall 

    10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

    Crater Lake, Oregon is the 7th deepest lake in the world, according to the National Parks Service! :)

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Lake Superior is the only one on the list that I have been to. I guess I need to get out more.

  • SteveoMc profile image


    10 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

    Lots of good lakes to look at. I love learning about stuff, especially stuff I forgot about. Thanks for the geography lesson, this is one of my favorite topics and it motivates me to try writing about some of the geography I have enjoyed.

  • michifus profile image


    10 years ago

    Good hub, interesting read. I've swam in Lake Toba, which is one of the deepest, certainly the deepest in south east asia at 505 M deep(1666 feet)

  • Wealthmadehealthy profile image


    10 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

    This was an extremely informative hub. I live near the Great Lakes, but alas, was unaware that Huron and Michigan were one. There are tons of lakes up here....and also where The Edmond Fitzgerald sank.....the storms on the lakes come quickly and without warning....Great hub!!

  • profile image

    shoaib hussain 

    10 years ago

    this is really cool ,please something on unique lakes as well.thnx a lot

  • Amez profile image


    10 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Great Hub, I found a few new vacation spots. appreciate your research. Ed

  • ciidoctor profile image


    10 years ago

    good info thnx alot

  • contentmaster profile image


    10 years ago

    I had a chance to go to Astrakhan years ago once and visited Caspian Sea. It was one of the best natural places I have ever seen in my life. Hope still it is the same.

  • profile image

    Norwegian Pearl Cruises 

    10 years ago

    Very cool list, there were a few on here that I had never heard of. Now I have to go Google them, lol.

  • profile image

    Charter Jet Service 

    11 years ago

    Strange list but kind of cool. Geeze some of these lakes I have never heard of.

  • profile image

    Kids Sleeping Bag 

    11 years ago

    I have at one time or another camped at at least one place on each of the Great Lakes on the American side. Cool post and really informative.

  • 158 profile image


    11 years ago

    good article

    i like geography so thanks for this interesting list.

  • gurgel1 profile image


    11 years ago from profile

    weird hub

  • laringo profile image


    11 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

    I enjoyed this Hub because it again broadens by knowledge. Whenever I think of Great Lakes, my mind usually only thinks of the 5 Great Lakes in the United States. Very good Hub.


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