Want to know which is the world’s largest lake? Here’s a list of the largest lakes in the world by their total area and water volume.
1. Caspian Sea
Even though it is named the Caspian “Sea” it’s not a real sea because it’s enclosed by land. This makes the Caspian Sea the largest lake in the world with a total area of 371,000 km².
What’s even more impressive is the fact that it’s holding more water than all of the Five Great Lakes combined with a water volume of 78,200 km3. The following countries have shorelines to the Caspian Sea: Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran.
2. Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake in terms of area. It spans across 82,100 km2 (31,700 sq mi) and is located both in Canada and the United States, which also makes it the largest lake in North America.
It was formed due to glacial movements and has a water volume of 11,600 km3 (2,800 cubic miles).
3. Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria is the third largest lake in the world and the largest of all African lakes. The countries bordering to the shorelines of the lake are Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.
The total area of Lake Victoria is 68,870 km2 (26,590 sq mi) and it has a water volume of 2,700 km3 (650 cubic miles)
Lake Huron is one of the Five Great Lakes and the second largest lake in North America with a total area of 59,600 km2 (23,000 sq mi). Just like Superior, Huron has shorelines in both Canada and the US.
5. Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is the largest lake entirely located within the United States. It covers an area of 59,600 km2 (23,000 sq mi) and ranks 7th in the world in terms of water volume.
The deepest point of Lake Michigan is measured as 282 meters below the surface but the average depth is 85 meters.
Tanganyika is the second largest lake in Africa and covers an area of 32,600 km2 (12,600 sq mi).
The shorelines of Tangyanika are located in four countries: Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and it’s very important for the daily life of the people living around the lake.
7. Lake Baikal
The Baikal Lake is the world’s biggest lake when it comes to water volume, and it holds about 20% of the world’s freshwater. The lake holds as much as 23,600 km3 (5,700 cubic miles) water, and it has an area of 31,500 km2 (12,200 sq mi).
It’s located entirely within Russia, in Siberia. Baikal is also considered being the deepest lake in the world.
8. Great Bear Lake
The Great Bear Lake is one of the largest lakes in the world and the largest lake entirely within Canada. It’s located by the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories and spans an area of 27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi).
9. Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi is also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique. It’s a lake which is teeming with marine life, and it’s home to the highest number of species of fish in the world.
The deepest point of Lake Malawi is 706 meters, and the average depth is 292 meters. It spans across an area of 29,500 km2 (11,400 sq mi).
10. Great Slave Lake
Last but not least, the Great Slave Lake, which is another large Canadian lake. In total it has an area of 27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi) and the lake is known as the deepest lake in North America with the deepest point being 614 meters below the surface.
List of the World’s Largest Lakes by area
|1||Caspian Sea||371,000 km2 (143,000 sq mi)||Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran|
|2||Lake Superior||82,100 km2 (31,700 sq mi)||Canada, United States|
|3||Lake Victoria||68,870 km2 (26,590 sq mi)||Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania|
|4||Huron||59,600 km2 (23,000 sq mi)||Canada, United States|
|5||Lake Michigan||58,000 km2 (22,000 sq mi||United States|
|6||Tanganyika||32,600 km2 (12,600 sq mi)||Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|7||Baikal||31,500 km2 (12,200 sq mi)||Russia|
|8||Great Bear Lake||31,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi)||Canada|
|9||Lake Malawi||29,500 km2 (11,400 sq mi)||Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania|
|10||Great Slave Lake||27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi)||Canada|
|11||Erie||25,700 km2 (9,900 sq mi)||Canada, United States|
|12||Lake Winnipeg||24,514 km2 (9,465 sq mi)||Canada|
|13||Lake Ontario||18,960 km2 (7,320 sq mi)||Canada, United States|
|14||Ladoga||18,130 km2 (7,000 sq mi)||Russia|
|15||Balkhash||16,400 km2 (6,300 sq mi)||Kazakhstan|
|16||Vostok||12,500 km2 (4,800 sq mi)||Antarctica|
|17||Onega||9,700 km2 (3,700 sq mi)||Russia|
|18||Titicaca||8,372 km2 (3,232 sq mi)||Bolivia, Peru|
|19||Lake Nicaragua||8,264 km2 (3,191 sq mi)||Nicaragua|
|20||Athabasca||7,850 km2 (3,030 sq mi)||Canada|
|21||Taymyr||6,990 km2 (2,700 sq mi)||Russia|
|22||Turkana||6,405 km2 (2,473 sq mi)||Ethiopia, Kenya|
|23||Reindeer Lake||6,330 km2 (2,440 sq mi)||Canada|
|24||Issyk-Kul||6,200 km2 (2,400 sq mi)||Kyrgyzstan|
|25||Urmia||6,001 km2 (2,317 sq mi)||Iran|
|26||Vänern||5,545 km2 (2,141 sq mi)||Sweden|
|27||Winnipegosis||5,403 km2 (2,086 sq mi)||Canada|
|28||Albert||5,299 km2 (2,046 sq mi)||Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|29||Mweru||5,120 km2 (1,980 sq mi)||Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|30||Nettilling||5,066 km2 (1,956 sq mi)||Canada|
More about the largest lakes in the world
As you might notice, none of the 10 largest lakes in the world are located in Europe, Oceania or South America. The largest lake in the world and the biggest lake in the world are both located on the Asian continent, whereas the other largest lakes in the world are primarily in North America and Africa.
When you take a closer look at the history and how many lakes were formed, it’s no longer a surprise that so many of the world’s largest lakes are located in North America. It’s quite simple because they are mostly formed due to glacial movements, which happened in the past. North America used to be covered in glaciers, and after melting they formed some very large lakes.
The Largest Freshwater lakes in the world play a vital role for humanity and without them, it would be substantially harder for Mother Nature to allow more than 7 billion people roaming this Earth.
Canada is one of the largest countries in the world, and of the 25 largest lakes in the world, as many as 11 lakes can be found in Canada.
Which is the biggest lake on the Earth?
The Caspian Sea is the biggest lake in the world with an area of 371,000 km2 (143,000 sq mi) and water volume of 78,200 km3 (18,800 cubic miles).
Which is the largest fresh lake in the world?
Lake Baikal is the world’s largest freshwater lake in terms of volume with 5,521 cubic miles of water (23,013 km3).
Largest Lakes in the world by water volume
|1||Caspian Sea||78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi)|
|2||Baikal||23,600 km3 (5,700 cu mi)|
|3||Tanganyika||18,900 km3 (4,500 cu mi)|
|4||Superior Lake||11,600 km3 (2,800 cu mi)|
|5||Malawi||7,725 km3 (1,853 cu mi)|
|6||Vostok||5,400±1,600 km³ (~1,300 cu mi)|
|7||Lake Michigan||4,920 km3 (1,180 cu mi)|
|8||Huron||3,540 km3 (850 cu mi)|
|9||Victoria Lake||2,700 km3 (650 cu mi)|
|10||Great Bear Lake||2,236 km3 (536 cu mi)|
How many of the largest lakes in the world did you know about? Leave a comment below!