The 10 Largest Lakes in the World (No. 1 Is as Wide as an Ocean!)


A lake is a basin filled with water and is a natural body of water that is surrounded by land. Lakes can be divided into tectonic lakes, volcanic lakes, glacial lakes, barrier lakes, karst lakes, fluvial lakes, wind-erosion lake basins, marine lakes, artificial lakes (reservoirs), and more. These lakes can be further categorized as open lakes or closed lakes. There are also freshwater lakes (less than 1g of dissolved salts per liter), brackish-water lakes (1-35g of dissolved salts per liter), and salt lakes (more than 35g of dissolved salts per liter). Lakes get their water from precipitation, surface runoff, groundwater, and even ice and snow. Evaporation, leakage, draining, and human exploitation are the biggest reasons for declining water levels.

The moment a lake is formed, it is constantly changing from various internal processes and external natural factors. Sediment and biological waste from rivers will accumulate in a lake year after year until the basin gradually becomes shallow and turns into land. A lake might even change alongside the growth of coastal aquatic plants and become a swamp. Dry weather resulting from climate change can also lead to lower levels of melted ice water, groundwater, etc. The amount of replenishment is unable to compensate for the loss of water from evaporation, often leading to lakes drying up or becoming salinized from the accumulation of salt materials and ultimately becoming a dry lake. Some lakes with a downward outflow path dry up as a result of excessive drainage. In addition, lakes will also keep shrinking and expanding in response to crustal movement, climate change, and other factors that affect the forming of lakes. Regardless of how a lake naturally evolves, it is destined to die out.

That concludes our Lakes 101 lesson. Now, let’s find out how many of the 10 largest lakes in the world that you know.


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