Interesting Facts About The Great Lakes
Most people have heard about the Great Lakes. For many Americans their knowledge is limited to learning the name of these five large freshwater lakes by using the acronym HOMES for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. However, there are some very interesting facts about these lakes that you may not know. Here are just a few of them.
1. The Great Lakes form the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth by total and volume.
2. 21% of the world's surface freshwater is contained in these lakes.
3. If you build a barrier surrounding the 48 continental states in the United States and poured the water from the 5 lakes into it, it would create a swimming pool over 9 feet deep over the entire area. Now that's an Olympic size pool!
4. While there are 8 states and Canada that all border on the Great Lakes, the State of Michigan is surrounded by four of these five lakes. (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, and Superior)
5. Peeking up from the waters of these five great lakes are about 35,000 Islands, most located in Lake Huron.
6. The Great Lakes Shoreline is equal to about 44% of the circumference of the earth with the state of Michigan having more coastline than any other state, with the exception of Alaska beating out both Florida and California.
7. Storms on the Great Lakes can rival almost any ocean storm and there have been record wave heights recorded between 28 and 35 feet. Most of the deadliest storms on these waters occur during the month of November and many ships and lives have been lost during some of the fiercest storms.
8. There is an 80 mile Westerly stretch from White Fish Point in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that has been the place of so many ship wrecks that it has become known as the “Ship Wreck Coast”
9. The first known ship to go down in the Waters of The Great Lakes was the Le Griffen which sank in 1679 in Lake Michigan. The most famous ship to ever sink was the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior in 1975.
10. Because the waters of the Great Lakes are so cold most ship wrecks have been almost perfectly preserved including some of the people.
11. Despite the cold waters of the Great Lakes there have been several reports of Bull Sharks making into the waters of these lakes particularly Lake Michigan. However, few of these sighting have ever been proven though a man near Traverse City, Michigan did find the body of a dead juvenile black tip shark while fishing. DNR believe that someone had kept the shark as a pet and then when it grew too large either released it or killed it and dumped it into the lake.
Lake Michigan / Pixabay
12. The oldest and most prestigious freshwater sailing race in the world occurs on the Great Lakes every July, the Chicago to Mackinac (Island) race.
13. There are nearly 150 different species of fish that call the Great Lakes their home. Some of these fish include: large mouth bass, bluegill, carp, channel cat, muskellunge, yellow perch, smelt, walleye, Northern Pike, and Sturgeon.
14. The Great Lakes see many summer tourists who come to swim, boat, and fish the waters of the Great Lakes and visit the Great Lakes Ship Wreck Museum, Mackinac Island, and other scenic and historic sites around these beautiful and scenic waters.