Lake Topography by Region

Image courtesy of nationsonline.org

As a lake homeowner, you’re probably familiar with the concept of topography. It refers to the study of land surfaces, which encompasses various features such as mountains, hills, valleys, and bodies of water. When looking at lake areas, one common element of their topography is the presence of water. But beyond the existence of a lake, some lake areas share similar topography. Across the U.S., there are common types of topography in each section of the country. Today, we’re diving into some of the characteristics of lake topography by region!

The West

Photo courtesy of Jeff Goulden/Getty Images via Travel and Leisure

When imagining the western part of the United States, the most salient topographical feature that comes to mind is probably a mountain. This is because the Rocky Mountains, America’s largest mountain chain, stretches across this region. The states of Washington, Oregon, and California are home to many of the earth’s youngest mountains. In particular, the Cascade mountain range is only about a million years old. In some of our most popular lake areas in the west, you’ll notice that mountain features are common. For instance, Washington’s Lake Chelan is surrounded by the Chelan mountains, and Oregon’s Crater Lake is on Mount Mazama, an inactive volcanic mountain.

The Great Plains

Photo courtesy of petfriendlytravel.com

Also known as the “breadbasket” of North America, the Great Plains region refers to the middle of the continent. Think: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and other surrounding states. This region’s topography is characterized by fertile soil which formed during the most recent ice age. The result is a series of states full of native grassland prairies. So, when it comes to lakes in the Great Plains region, expect to find vast stretches of land for miles. For instance, popular lakes such as Oklahoma’s Lake Lawtonka, the oldest man-made lake in the state, are surrounded by a desert-like landscape.

Central Lowlands

Photo courtesy of Michgan Radio

Similar to the Great Plains region, the Central Lowlands were also impacted by the last ice age. This region covers northern states in the mid-U.S., such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Because the melting ice sheets from this glacial period flattened the existing topography of this region, much of the Central Lowlands is flat with rolling hills. The most impressive result of this “glacial scouring” is the Great Lakes. Extending more than 1300 feet below sea level, Lake Superior and others are an impressive outcome of this piece of geographic history.

Atlantic Coast

Photo courtesy of blueridgeheritage.com

Alongside the coast of the Eastern U.S., the states that border the Atlantic Ocean share similar ecosystems and in turn, similar topographies. One defining feature of this region’s topography is the Appalachian Mountain Range. This massive range extends 2,000 miles from Canada to central Alabama. Additionally, the climate of this eastern region is characterized by wetlands and marshes. These moist land features lend themselves to a lush topography full of natural lakes and vibrant greenery. For instance, North Carolina’s Lake Rhodhiss, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is known for its gorgeous natural shoreline surrounded by miles of trees. Down in Florida, Lake Eloise and other parts of the Lakeland/Winter Haven area are extremely moist with several citrus groves. 

In every region of the country, there’s something to celebrate about the unique topographies of our lakes!

Bodies of Water 101

Photo courtesy of WorldAtlas

If you’re a lake homeowner, chances are, you know more than the average person about lakes. Maybe you’re familiar with lake science topics like stratification. Or perhaps you’re an expert angler who’s memorized a list of freshwater fish and their habitats. But when you’re entrenched in all the high-level facts about lakes, it can be easy to forget the basics. For example, do you know what makes a lake — well — a lake? Today, we’re taking a deep dive (no pun intended) into the definitions of these major bodies of water on earth. By understanding how lakes fit into the world’s water systems, we can appreciate our own lakes even more!

Ocean

Photo courtesy of Phys.org

Let’s start with the largest. Consisting of salt water, oceans make up 70% of the world’s surface, and they hold about 96.5% of the earth’s water. Many people don’t know that there’s actually just one big “world ocean.” However, we’ve designated five specific oceans for convenience — from largest to smallest, the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern/Antarctic, and Arctic. Besides their massive size, the intrigue of oceans also derives from their depth. In fact, oceans are divided into three zones based on certain depth levels. The highest photic zone receives sunlight, the middle aphotic zone is darker, and the benthic zone refers to the pitch dark ocean floor. At each stage, some of the most diverse forms of earth’s life inhabits these ocean waters. Since much of the world’s oceans are still unexplored, a number of fascinating species are still a mystery to us!

Sea

Photo courtesy of WorldAtlas

Of the earth’s bodies of water, seas are most similar to oceans. Like oceans, seas are also large bodies of saltwater. In fact, many consider seas to be a component of oceans (e.g., the Mediterranean sea is a subpart of the Atlantic Ocean). This is not to be confused with The Sea, which colloquially, refers to a nonspecific ocean. However, the differentiating factor between seas and oceans is that seas are entirely or partially surrounded by land. Some examples include the Norwegian Sea, the Bering Sea, and the Caspian Sea (significant controversy still exists over the latter).

Lake

Photo by Vivian K on Unsplash

Onto our favorite body of water! Always landlocked, lakes are smaller bodies of water that are completely surrounded by land, not counting the river which feeds or drains it. Unlike oceans, lakes are typically freshwater. However, a handful of salt lakes across the world contain a much higher saline quality than any oceans. Although few would confuse a lake with an ocean, many people do get confused when it comes to the difference between lakes and ponds. Although there is no agreed-upon criteria for this, people usually differ by size, arguing that lakes are bigger than five acres in surface area. Lakes also form differently than ponds, as they develop from retreating glaciers or movement of tectonic plates. Instead, ponds are often manmade, and they may include aesthetic purposes such as a coy pond.

River

Photo by Benjamin Huggett on Unsplash

Smaller than a lake, a river is a natural stream of fresh water that has a current and moves toward another body of water such as an ocean or lake. The origin of a river is called the “source.” Since rivers flow downhill, the source is usually high on a mountain or underground spring which facilitates the flow of gravity. The river’s journey ends when it meets another body of water. They convene at a location called the “wetlands”, which forms unique ecosystems full of various aquatic plants. Across the world, the world’s longest river is the Nile at over 4,000 miles while the world’s biggest river is the Amazon in South America. 

So there you have it! Here, we’re just focused on the major bodies of water, but this list is by no means comprehensive. There’s still canals, fjords, subglacial lakes and more. While you’re learning, we hope you enjoy your own lake outside your back door!

Lake Placid: History of the Winter Olympics

Photo courtesy of AP via ABC News

Once every four years, people across the globe come together in shared excitement about the Winter Olympics. This major international event involves multiple snow and ice sports competing for the most prestigious sporting medals in the world. Inspired by the ancient Olympic games  held in Olympia, Greece, the modern games began in the late 1800s and have been thriving ever since. But the Winter Olympics began slightly later. In Chamonix, France, the first ever Winter Olympics were held in 1924, featuring nine categories of sports including cross-country skiing, curling, and bobsleighing. Since its inception, 12 countries on three continents have hosted the Winter Olympics. This year, the world is gearing up for Beijing, China’s hosting in February 2022. 

Of all the cities that have historically hosted the Winter Olympics, only three have hosted twice. Besides St. Morris and Innsbruck, the third is Lake Placid. This village nestled in New York’s Adirondack Mountains is home to a gorgeous lake by the same name. Today, we’re delving into Lake Placid’s history with the Winter Olympics, and why this lake area deserved two spots in the games’ history.

Lake Placid: Winter Olympics 1932

4 Feb 1932: National Delegations parading in the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 1932 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York State, USA. \ Mandatory Credit: IOC Olympic Museum /Allsport via The Atlantic

For Lake Placid’s first hosting of the Winter Olympics, we have a man named Godfrey Dewy to thank. In 1929, this president of the Lake Placid Organizing committee gave a passionate speech pitching Lake Placid as the Winter Olympics destination. His speech, paired with the area’s reputation as a premier winter sports venue, landed this region the gig. Even in the middle of the Great Depression, this small town of 4,000 people was an excellent site for the games, and Mr. Godfrey donated his family’s plot of land for the bobsleigh track. Not only was the event a success for Lake Placid, but also for the U.S. as a whole. The 1932 Winter Olympic Games marked the first year that the U.S. won the medal tally.

Lake Placid: Winter Olympics 1980

Photo courtesy of STAFF/AFP/Getty Images via Daily News

In 1980, Lake Placid earned its spot as an Olympic destination for the second time. However, unlike the 1932 Olympics, global conflicts and the emergence of television made it more difficult for this small, upstate town to host such a major event. With even more attendees to the event and a wider audience through T.V., transportation was inadequate to meet these demands. In terms of global politics, it was also the height of the Cold War and the Soviet Union had just invaded Afghanistan. However, despite these constraints and setbacks, the Winter Olympics in 1980 were ultimately a success at Lake Placid. The U.S. ice hockey team won against the Soviet team which had previously dominated the olympic scene. Additionally, U.S. speed skater Eric Heiden won the gold for five consecutive races, setting an Olympic world record.

Will Lake Placid Host Again?

Photo courtesy of LakePlacid.com

Lake Placid has already established its Winter Olympic legacy as the destination for the 1932 and 1980 games. However, its hosting history may not be over. Lake Placid is home to several original venues including the Olympic Sports Complex, Whiteface Mountain, and the Olympic Center. Although its small size might be a hindrance to the future Olympic games, those advocating for Lake Placid’s hosting in 2026 suggest partnering with other areas in the region to accommodate more guests and more resources for athletes. So, it’s safe to say that this may not be the end of Lake Placid’s Winter Olympics career! 

At Lake Placid, its history in the Winter Olympics is only one interesting aspect of this beautiful upstate lake region. To learn more about what makes Lake Placid special, check out our listings in the area at Lakehomes.com!

The World’s Smallest and Largest Underground Lakes

Photo courtesy of John Karakatsanis Travelgrove

Did you know that 71% of the earth’s surface is made up of water? Mostly referring to the oceanic waters of the world, this statistic reminds us how integral that water is to life on earth. However, not all water is surface-based. In fact, there are multiple bodies of water that exist beneath the surface of the earth. From subglacial lakes to cave lakes, hundreds of intriguing bodies of water lie tucked away in the most unexpected spots on earth. Today, in honor of all the lakes we can’t see, we’re covering the smallest and largest underground lakes!

The Largest Subglacial Lake

Image courtesy of Live Science

Given the expansiveness of Antarctic lakes, it’s no surprise that the largest underground lake in the world is subglacial. As opposed to typical underground lakes, a subglacial lake simply refers to one that is covered by a layer of ice. In the case of Lake Vostok, this layer happens to be 2.5 miles. Because of this lake’s hidden nature, its existence was unknown until the 1990s when a Russian pilot and geographer noticed a unique oblong shape from the air.

Today, the lake is part of Vostok Station, a Russian research hub in central Antarctica. Although scientists disagree about whether the lake existed before or after the East Antarctic Ice Sheet was formed, they do agree on one thing — the lake’s ecosystem is fascinating. With a temperature of -89 degrees Fahrenheit, the presence of life in earth’s coldest temperatures has implications for the possibility of life on other planets.

The Largest Non-Subglacial Underground Lake

Photo courtesy of Gondwana Collection

The country of Namibia is famous for a lot of natural wonders — the treacherous skeleton coast, the world’s highest sand dunes, and most of the endangered black rhino population. Beyond these wonders, the country is also home to the largest non-subglacial underground lake. Located in the Otjozondjupa Region in Namibia, Dragon’s Breath Cave was discovered in 1986 and named for the moist air that can be seen from the cave’s entrance, resembling dragon’s breath. At least 16 invertebrate species live in these zero-sunlight conditions, as well as a few other species such as golden catfish, the most isolated fish in the world.

The Smallest Underground Lake

Photo courtesy of Awe-inspiring places

In a small island in the southwest Pacific, the Moqua Well sits on the island of Nauru. In this tropical location, a limestone plateau formed low cliffs, which later produced caves. Inside, Moqua Well is a 16 foot deep freshwater lake. During World War II, this lake was a primary source of freshwater for the people living on Nauru island. Its integral nature during the war earned its name “well” instead of “lake.” After the war, it was primarily a destination for partiers to drink. However, after an inebriated man fatally fell into the well, the lake is now closed access.

The Smallest and Clearest Underground Lake

Photo courtesy of PandoTrip

Although it is larger than Moqua Well, Melissani Lake is another one of the world’s smallest underground lakes. It also happens to be a fascinating tourist attraction. Close to the mainland of Greece, it’s located in Melissani Cave on the Greek island of Kefalonia. According to Greek mythology, Melissani was the cave of the nymphs, female deities who are usually personifications of nature. Tourists have remarked on the clarity of the water, which can make boats look as though they’re floating on air. While its length is only 3 miles long, it’s beauty is breathtaking and certainly worth a visit for any travelers to Eastern Europe. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some of these underground lakes across the world!

Underground Lakes Across the World

Photo courtesy of Hoang Trung/Shutterstock via Fodor’s Travel

As lake homeowners, we may have one idea in our heads of what a lake looks like. A visible body of water, surrounded by greenery or mountains, with an abundance of wildlife and fish. However, for some lakes, there’s more than what meets the eye. In fact, there are plenty of underground lakes across the globe. Although they’re hidden, these lakes are stunning, full of natural history, and frankly, are great travel destinations. Check out some of the most fascinating underground lakes across the world!

Lake Vostok

Location: Antarctica

Lake Vostok, a subglacial lake at the heart of Antarctica, is probably one of the most enigmatic lakes in the world. Sitting beneath the ice, stretching 3,281 feet deep, this lake has captured the attention of scientists who believe that its frigid climate may have implications for life on other planets. The lake’s existence was first posted by a Russian geographer who noticed its seismic soundings during the Soviet Antarctic Expeditions in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s. From there, the Russian research site, Vostok Station was founded. Today, researchers continue to explore this underground lake’s unparalleled features.

Dragon’s Breath Cave

Location: Namibia

Many of the world’s largest underground lakes are subglacial. But not all of them. Dragon’s Breath Cave, found in the Otjozondjupa region of Namibia, is actually the largest non-subglacial lake in the world, thought to be at least 430 feet deep. Divers have not been able to chart its depths further, due to its underground location. Sitting 330 feet below the earth’s surface, it wasn’t discovered until 1986. The group of explorers felt a breeze coming from the cave, and knew they needed to explore. The humid air earned its name — Dragon’s Breath.

Craighead Cavern

Photo courtesy of Traquo

Location: U.S.A.

Some underground lakes might be closer to home than we think. In particular, Craighead Caverns is the second-largest underground lake in the world. It’s also the largest underground lake in the U.S.! Also known as the “Lost Sea”, it has been designated as a Registered Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior. Located between Sweetwater and Madisonville, Tennessee, you can actually take boating adventures through the caverns. Also known as the “Lost Sea” this spot is a wonderful tourist destination for anyone in the southeast.

Lake Martel

Photo courtesy of Barcelo Experiences

Location: Spain

More than 80 feet beneath the surface of Majorca, an island near Spain, lies Lake Martel (in Spanish, Cuevas del Drach). It sits at the bottom of the Caves of Drach, part of a group of four caves that lie beneath this island. Since Lake Martel’s discovery in the 1880’s, the caves have been a popular tourist destination where people from across the world can enjoy guided boat tours. Some tours even end with a live concert! An unconventional, yet thrilling way to enjoy live music on the lake.

Son Doong Cave

Image courtesy of Ryan Deboodt / Oxalis Adventure Tours via Lonely Planet

Location: Vietnam

Translated in English to “mountain river cave,” Son Doong Cave just so happens to be the world’s largest cave. Located at the border of Laos and Vietnam, it is the largest known cave passage, measured by volume. The passage is over 3 miles long and 660 feet high, allowing lush vegetation such as moss to develop along the passage walls. This cave isn’t new either — it developed somewhere between two and five million years ago when limestone was eroded by river water underneath a mountain. Within its walls is also a rushing river which is connected to another cave, Hang Thung. 

These fascinating lakes are only a handful of the underground lakes that exist across the world. With travel restrictions lifting soon, don’t hesitate to make these underground lakes next on your travel list!

Interesting Facts About Lake Huron, MI

Photo courtesy of Michigan.org

If you’re looking for an enormous, beautiful lake to vacation this summer, look no further than Lake Huron. The second largest of the Great Lakes (next to the expansive Lake Michigan), Lake Huron stretches 23,007 miles. Bordering both Michigan and Ontario, it’s actually the third largest freshwater lake in the world. With so much of Lake Huron to cover, today, we’re focusing only on the Michigan side. From New Buffalo to Mackinaw City, check out these interesting facts about Lake Huron!

Lake Huron Contains a Prehistoric Land Bridge

Photo courtesy of TANE CASSERLY via The Globe and Mail

During the Ice Age, the Great Lakes were not as impressive as they are today. Water levels were lower — at least 250 feet lower than modern times. Due to these lower water levels, almost 10,000 years ago, the limestone-capped Alpena-Amberley land bridge rose above the water’s surface. This piece of land cuts right across Lake Huron. In its time, it was used as a migration route for Caribou. Additionally, archaeologists discovered hunting stations along the ridge that were used by Native Americans from Paleolithic times. So next time you take a boat out on Lake Huron, just know there’s ancient history below!

Lake Huron is a Site for Shipwrecks

Photo courtesy of Mirror

As a not-so-fun fact about this Great Lake, Lake Huron is notorious for shipwrecks. More than a thousand shipwrecks have been recorded on Lake Huron. In fact, the first European ship to sail on the Great Lakes was the first Lake Huron wreckage. One wreck near the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario is visible through the clear waters, making it popular with snorkelers and divers. However, the most noteworthy date for shipwrecks on Lake Huron was the Great Lakes Storm of 1913. On November 9th of that year, the 16-hour long storm sank 10 ships on Lake Huron and drove 20 ashore.

Lake Huron Features a Turnip-Shaped Rock

Photo courtesy of Fremont Contract Carriers

Off the Michigan shore on Lake Huron, near Port Austin, a large rock island shaped like a turnip is a popular tourist site. But how did it acquire this shape? Most likely, it became separated from the mainland during prehistoric times. Since then, crashing waves eroded the base of the rock, eventually resulting in the classic turnip shape. In the 2013 “Seven Wonders of Michigan,” Turnip Rock was selected as one of the 20 finalists. Although it didn’t make the final cut as the top 7 attractions, it’s still a small yet fascinating geological formation that’s worth a visit.

Lake Huron is Relatively Unpolluted

Photo courtesy of Michigan Radio

Since the 1950s, the Great Lakes have struggled to maintain pristine environmental conditions due to pollution from plastic, industrial waste, and other threats. However, compared to Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, and Lake Ontario, Lake Huron remains relatively unpolluted — only surpassed by Lake Superior. This comparatively clean state makes Lake Huron a desirable hotspot for both commercial and sport fishing. Lake trout, walleye, salmon, and northern pike are popular catches in this expansive lake. Anglers from across the country venture to Lake Huron for these fishing opportunities, electing to stay at one of many fishing resorts in Michigan. Resorts like Falcon Cove and Young’s Getaway Beachfront Resort provide spots for rest, relaxation, and enjoying the abundant scenery of Lake Huron.

Lake Huron Rarely Freezes Over

Photo courtesy of Travdyn.wordpress.com

When you think of Michigan, frigid cold often comes to mind. But for a state this far north, it may come as a surprise that Lake Huron rarely freezes over. Because of the vastness of the Great Lakes, complete (or near complete) ice coverage is a rarity. Typically, this anomaly only happens once per decade. In 2003 and 2014, almost 95 percent of the lake was covered in ice. Due to climate change, we can expect these incidents to become even more rare. But what do people do when this happens? Ice fishing, skating, and various other wintertime activities on the lake

So what are you waiting for? Talk to one of our agents about looking for a home on Lake Huron today!

Top 5 Deepest Lakes in the U.S.

Previously on the Lake Homes Realty blog, we’ve written about the deepest lakes across the world. From Russia’s Lake Baikal to Antarctica’s Lake Vostok, these lakes are full of fascinating endemic species and mysterious waters that have yet to be explored. However, you don’t have to travel across the globe to discover deep lakes. Chances are, there could be one in your home state. Today, we’re taking a look at the deepest lakes in the U.S.

 

Crater Lake, Oregon (1,949 feet deep)

Not only is Crater Lake the deepest lake in the U.S., but it also ranks as the ninth deepest lake in the world. However, its size may be its least fascinating feature. This massive lake was caused by a volcano eruption from Mount Mazama 7,700 years ago. The volcanic blast created a six-mile crater that eventually became a lake. Due to the nature of its formation, Crater Lake does not have any streams or rivers flowing into it, and the amount of water remains stable. Its landlocked form also prevents fish from inhabiting its waters, so any fish you may see in Crater Lake have been artificially stocked.

Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada (1,645 feet deep)

Located in the Sierra mountain range in California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. It’s also the largest alpine lake in North America — the word “alpine” referring to its high altitude in the mountains. Because of its sheer beauty and great summer and wintertime activities, Lake Tahoe is a popular tourist destination. You can enjoy sports like skiing and snowboarding during the winter months, while summer brings boating, sunbathing, and fishing. It’s no wonder that several movies were filmed there, including The Godfather Part II and City of Angels

Lake Chelan, Washington (1,486 feet deep)

Photo courtesy of Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce via Seattle Magazine

The third deepest lake in the U.S. is located in the Pacific Northwest region. Specifically, Chelan County in Washington State is home to this large lake. Appropriately, its name comes from the Salish indigenous word for “deep water.” Before 1927, it was the largest natural lake in the state until the Lake Chelan dam construction. Besides its size, the glacier-fed Chelan Lake is also beautiful, surrounded by a range of cascading mountains. It’s perfect for enjoying a scenic view while you’re having a picnic, riding a jet ski, or simply relaxing. While you’re in the region, you can spend time at local wine vineyards at the Lake Chelan Wine Valley. If you’re an angler, you’ll want to invest in this lake’s fishing opportunities, predominantly bass, salmon, and rainbow trout.

Lake Superior, Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota (1,332 feet deep)

Photo courtesy of Seek the World

The fourth deepest lake in the country, Lake Superior, is the deepest lake with Lake Homes Realty listings. Bordering Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes. In fact, it also holds the title of the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area. Lake Superior’s waters are a crucial resource, as this vast lake contains 10% of the earth’s surface freshwater. Along its shores, there’s plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Specifically, Lake Superior is known for its nearby national parks, including Isle Royale National Park, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and the Grand Island National Recreation Area. 

Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho (1,158 feet deep)

Photo courtesy of VisitNorthIdaho.com

This lake’s impressive history dates back to the Ice Age. Formed by glaciers that flooded during this period, it’s a huge natural lake that has served an essential function in human life since pre-recorded history. Located near the Rocky Mountains, Lake Pend Oreille is known for its natural beauty. It’s also renowned for recreation, with several nearby parks, including Farragut State Park, Garfield Bay, and City Beach. While you’re out fishing for Kamloops (a large rainbow trout species, often exceeding 20 pounds), you can spot fascinating wildlife, such as ospreys and fish hawks.

Countries with the Most and Fewest Lakes

Moraine Lake by James Wheeler | CC-BY – The Traveling Pinoys

If you’re here on our blog, you’re probably captivated by lake living. At this point, perhaps your inundation with the lake lifestyle makes it hard to imagine an existence that doesn’t involve the lake. However, depending on where you live, lakes could play an even bigger — or much smaller — role in your life. As a follow-up to our previous blog post, States With the Most and Fewest Lakes, we’re now tackling the whole globe. Check out which countries have the most and fewest lakes in the world!

Countries With the Most Lakes:

Maligne Lake by Zhukova Valentyna / shutterstock via The Crazy Tourist

Canada

While the U.S. boasts many impressive lakes, Canada takes the cake for the country with the most lakes in the world. In fact, Canada contains more lakes than the rest of the world combined. You might be familiar with some of them. Bordering northern parts of the U.S., Canada is home to several Great Lakes such as Lake SuperiorLake Huron, and Lake Erie. But the country’s purely Canadian lakes may be more impressive. For example, the beautiful Moraine Lake is surrounded by gorgeous mountains, while Lake Ontario features stunning beaches. Unfortunately, several of its lakes are adversely affected by glaciers that are quickly melting due to global warming. However, there are several ways you can help this global issue.

Lake Baidal – Photo courtesy of Pradiz.com

Russia

Russia is the noteworthy runner-up. This massive country boasts over 2.8 million lakes from various origins. The majority are freshwater, but it’s home to several saline lakes as well. Russia borders what is perhaps the most famous salt lake, The Caspian Sea — although an ongoing debate with significant economic and political implications still exists as to whether it’s a sea or lake. Speaking of remarkable lakes, Russia also contains the world’s deepest lake, Lake Baikal. And the “deepest lake” title is only one unique aspect of Lake Baikal. Eighty percent of its inhabitants are endemic, meaning they don’t live anywhere else in the world — including the adorable Nerpa Seal, the only freshwater seal on earth.

Lakeland Finland – Photo courtesy of OutdoorActive.com

Finland

Although it isn’t one of the countries with the most lakes, Finland deserves an honorable mention. Called the “land of a thousand lakes,” Finland has the most lakes in relation to country size. Although it’s not as large as Canada or Russia, its smaller size boasts an impressive number of lakes (187,888 to be exact). Although many lakes are only the size of a tennis court, the statistics are still staggering. There is one lake for every 26 people in the country!

Countries with the Fewest Lakes:

Saudi Arabia – Photo courtesy of Reuters via The Economist

Land of No Lakes

The countries with the fewest lakes are those that have none at all — 19 countries to be exact. It may come as a shock that some countries lack lakes entirely, but various climates around the world are simply not conducive to permanent lake formation. Although many of these countries do have streams and seasonal bodies of water, they do not have permanent lakes and rivers. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest country without a lake or river, is known as the “land of no rivers.” For a country so large, this may be surprising. However, the arid desert climate receives little rainfall throughout the year, and most of the freshwater comes from desalination plants or underground reservoirs.

Malta – @maltesewanderer via Twenty20

By contrast, although island countries are surrounded by water, they’re often devoid of lakes and rivers. For example, the Bahamas, Malta, and the Maldives are too small to accommodate these bodies of water. Another notable country (which is an anomaly in many ways) is Vatican City, the world’s smallest country without a lake. This 0.2 square mile country also happens to be the smallest in the world, completely landlocked in Italy. 

Where does the U.S. Fall?

Finally, the bronze medal for countries with the most lakes goes to the U.S.A. Of course, we’re all familiar with amazing U.S. lakes. You might even live on one! However, if you’re still looking for a lake property, be sure to check out our listings. From the most beautiful to the clearest, we’ve got you covered here at Lake Homes Realty.

 

Birdbrains or Geniuses? 5 Impressive Facts about Bird Migration

If you own a lake home, you’ve probably witnessed migratory birds flying across your backyard. You might even be an avid bird watcher, eagerly checking live maps in anticipation of migration season. It’s easy to understand ornithologists’ enthusiasm — the fact that two-pound birds can make arduous long-distance journeys is astonishing. To collectively celebrate these birds’ incredible feats each year, check out these five facts about bird migration.

1. They can fly as high as planes

Photo courtesy of Youngzine

During migration season, most birds fly between 650 and 5,000 feet above sea level. Although this alone is impressive, some birds journey at much higher altitudes. For instance, bar-headed geese are known for reaching great heights. They fly above the Himalayas, the earth’s highest mountain range, at altitudes between 13,000 to 20,000 feet. Further, because of the lack of tailwinds at these heights, bar-headed geese can’t soar. They must continuously flap their wings to continue their journey.

2. They can fly at night

Photo courtesy of UPI.com

During the day, you may see large birds like pelicans and hawks flying by your lake house. However, you might not know that many migratory birds are nocturnal flyers. Smaller birds such as cuckoos and sparrows fly at night to avoid predator attacks and experience cooler temperatures. However, flying undercover also has risks, mostly imposed by humans. For instance, birds are at risk of running into house windows and satellites, especially at night when these obstacles are harder to recognize. As a lake dweller, check out the ways you can help prevent these collisions.

3. They can fly as fast as we drive

Photo courtesy of Science in Poland

Next time you’re driving, imagine a bird flapping its wings to keep up with your car’s speed. Amazingly, many birds would succeed. Most migratory birds can fly between 15-55 miles per hour during their seasonal journeys. As for the best in show, the great snipe hits the fastest speeds over the longest distance. When this small, unassuming bird migrates from Sweden to Central Africa, it flies 60 miles per hour nonstop for 4,200 miles. That’s like traveling from Alabama to Alaska with no rest stops in between.

4. They remember their birthplace

Photo courtesy of @MartinWheeler via Twenty20

One of the most stunning aspects of bird migration is that birds know exactly where to go. Using the sun, stars, landmarks, and the earth’s magnetism, birds have a near-perfect system for reaching their winter homes and accurately returning to their birthplace. Recent studies also suggest that birds rely heavily on their sense of smell for navigation. Even if it’s a bird’s first time migrating, they can use these cues to arrive at their destination. However, their system is not infallible. Due to external factors like weather, habitat loss, and electronic interference from satellite signals, some birds get lost during migration. While this is unfortunate for birds, many bird watchers relish the opportunity to witness rare birds that would typically not land in their region.

5. Much of migration is still a mystery

Photo courtesy of AllAboutBirds.org

Although scientists understand a great deal about bird migration, certain aspects of this phenomenon remain unknown. For instance, one may assume that young birds learn how to migrate by observing others. However, because migratory birds in captivity grow restless around the migration season calls this idea into question. Scientists do not fully understand birds’ innate knowledge of how, where, and when to migrate. Further, there are specific migratory birds that confound scientists. One such mystery is the ancient murrelet, which flies 4,970 miles from Canada to Japan, China, and North Korea, and then back. There is no apparent reason for their journey from one similar climate to another. 

Collectively, these facts about bird migration may make you rethink using the word “birdbrain” as an insult. Migratory birds’ journeys are undoubtedly impressive. And as a lake dweller, you have an exclusive front-row seat twice a year. When late summer rolls around, grab a pair of binoculars and enjoy the show from your boat dock.