The Great Lakes, a collection of five freshwater lakes located in North America, are an integral part of the continent’s natural landscape and history. While you may know their names – Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario – here are a few facts that may surprise you.
They Hold a Fifth of the World’s Fresh Surface Water
One of the most astounding facts about the Great Lakes is the sheer volume of water they contain. Collectively, the Great Lakes hold about 20% of the world’s fresh surface water. To put this into perspective, they have enough water to cover the entire continental U.S. in about 9.5 feet of water!
While many consider Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to be two separate lakes, from a hydrological perspective, they are actually one single lake. They are connected by a 5-mile wide and 120-foot deep channel of water.
Over the years, there have been numerous reports of mysterious creatures residing in the depths of the Great Lakes. Lake Erie, for example, is home to the legend of “Bessie,” a serpent-like creature first reported in the late 18th century. While these tales are likely folklore, they add a layer of mystery and intrigue to the lakes’ rich histories.