A lake is a large body of water within a body of land separated from the ocean. The largest lakes, which rival the size of entire nations, are more of a rarity. One might expect the world’s largest lakes to be very alike, but from depth to saline content, their properties can be quite different.
As well, the ranking of the world’s largest lakes is far from static, as human activity can turn a massive body of water into a desert within a single generation.
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There are hundreds of lakes around the world that hold claim to the title of the largest lake of some kind – either by volume, surface area, or a plethora of other defining qualifiers and caveats.
For the purpose of this article, we’ve listed the largest lakes in the world when measured by total surface area.
Here are the top 20 largest lakes in the world
|1.||Caspian Sea||Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran||371,000 km2 (143,000 sq mi)|
|2.||Superior||Canada, United States||82,100 km2 (31,700 sq mi)|
|3.||Victoria||Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania||68,870 km2 (26,590 sq mi)|
|4.||Huron||Canada, United States||59,600 km2 (23,000 sq mi)|
|5.||Michigan||United States||58,000 km2 (22,000 sq mi)|
|6.||Tanganyika||Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo||32,600 km2 (12,600 sq mi)|
|7.||Baikal||Russia||31,500 km2 (12,200 sq mi)|
|8.||Great Bear Lake||Canada||31,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi)|
|9.||Malawi||Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania||29,500 km2 (11,400 sq mi)|
|10.||Great Slave Lake||Canada||27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi)|
|11.||Erie||Canada, United States||25,700 km2 (9,900 sq mi)|
|12.||Winnipeg||Canada||24,514 km2 (9,465 sq mi)|
|13.||Ontario||Canada, United States||18,960 km2 (7,320 sq mi)|
|14.||Ladoga||Russia||18,130 km2 (7,000 sq mi)|
|15.||Balkhash||Kazakhstan||16,400 km2 (6,300 sq mi)|
|16.||Bangweulu||Zambia||15,100 km2 (5,800 sq mi)|
|17.||Vostok||Antarctica||12,500 km2 (4,800 sq mi)|
|18.||Onega||Russia||9,700 km2 (3,700 sq mi)|
|19.||Titicaca||Bolivia, Peru||8,372 km2 (3,232 sq mi)|
|20.||Nicaragua||Nicaragua||8,264 km2 (3,191 sq mi)|