These Really Are Great Lakes!

In a previous blog post, I shared many facts and tips about Michigan, the Great Lake State.  I would like to revisit this conversation for visitors who are looking at traveling here for the first time as well as native Michiganders who want to learn new things.

When visitors come to Michigan, they are amazed at the size of the Great Lakes, which seem more like seas because you cannot see across from one side to the other.  Below are five facts about the amazing bodies of water surrounding us here in America's North Coast.

Did You Know?

1. Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake. It is smaller than the Caspian Sea, but the Caspian is a saltwater lake with geological connections to the oceans (11 million years ago). Superior has more surface area than Lake Baikal (in Siberia), but Baikal is deeper and so has more water volume.

2. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are connected at the Straits of Mackinaw.  Hydrologically speaking, they are actually one connected lake (larger than Lake Superior), but they are officially considered two lakes.

3. Lake Michigan is the largest lake within the United States.  The other four Great Lakes are shared by the U.S. and Canada.

4. The five Great Lakes are among the largest 12 freshwater lakes in the world:  1. Superior   2. Victoria (Africa)   3. Huron   4. Michigan   5. Tanganyika (Africa)   6. Baikal (Russia)   7. Great Bear Lake (Canada)   8. Malawi (Africa)   9. Great Slave Lake (Canada)   9. Erie   11. Winnipeg (Canada)   12. Ontario

5. The Great Lakes comprise 21% of all standing freshwater on earth. Lake Superior contains more water than the other four Great Lakes combined.  You can remember all fives names if you can spell HOMES: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.

For more information on these amazing lakes, read this article.


Alan Headbloom

Alan advises Americans how to be global citizens and expats how to fit in to Michigan culture without annoying their native coworkers and clients. He also tweets and blogs at the intersection of language and culture. Over decades, he's traveled, studied, or lived on six continents, putting strange foods into his mouth and emitting strange sounds from it. His use of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hausa, and Japanese all improve with alcohol use. He gives invited public presentations on culture and unsolicited private advice on English grammar and usage; the latter isn't always appreciated. Visit his website for information on consulting, coaching, or speaking engagements.