Can You Identify These Lakes by Their Shapes?

WORLD

William J. Wright

7 Min Quiz

Image: Stanley Chen Xi, landscape and architecture photographer / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The importance of lakes to the human race is immeasurable. Aside from the obvious benefits to survival, like providing food and water, and the economic value they provide through shipping and commercial fishing, lakes hold a special place in the human experience. As areas for recreation, tourism and wildlife conservation, the beauty of these essential bodies of water is a testament to the restorative powers of nature. By providing both literal and spiritual sustenance, it's no wonder that ancient man and many indigenous peoples regard lakes as sacred.

Whether carved out by centuries of glacial action, formed in the craters of volcanoes or formed as reservoirs through human ingenuity, the ways lakes are formed are nearly as diverse as their benefits. With their unique footprints on the planet, many lakes are instantly identifiable to the geographically savvy. Take, for instance, those big ones up around the United States border with Canada — your average sixth grader can identify those with relative ease. Which brings us to the point (and the fun) of this quiz. This is our challenge to you: Can you identify these lakes by their shapes?

This is the highest navigable lake in the world. Can you identify it?

Located in the Andes on the borders of Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America. Considered the birthplace of the Incas, Lake Titicaca is home to many architectural ruins, including a temple found on the lake's bottom in 2000.

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Can you identify the lake where the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in 1975?

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. Called "Gitchi-Gami" meaning "huge sea" by the Ojibwe, the lake is essential to the shipping of iron ore and other materials. Home of many shipwrecks, its southern shores are known as the "Graveyard of the Great Lakes."

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Can you ID this lake that makes up a portion of the southern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

Fontana Lake located in Graham and Swain Counties in North Carolina is both the deepest lake in North Carolina and the fourth deepest man-made lake in the United States. Formed by the Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River, Fontana Lake was created in 1944 by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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This Canadian lake is allegedly the home of a monster called Naitaka. Can you name it?

Okanagan Lake, located in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, is a fjord formed by centuries of glacier movement. According to folklore, the deep waters of Okanagan hide a beast called Naitaka also known as Ogopogo. Sightings of the alleged cryptid continue to the present day.

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One of the Great Lakes, this body of water lies in Ontario on the north and east and Michigan on the south and west. What lake is this?

The second-largest of the Great Lakes by surface area (third by volume), Lake Huron also holds the distinction of being the third-largest freshwater lake on earth. Named for the native Huron people, Lake Huron was the first of the Great Lakes to be seen by European explorers.

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Can you identify this lake located on the north side of the Alps between Switzerland and France?

Among the largest lakes in Western Europe, Lake Geneva lies along the course of the Rhône River and is bordered on its southern shores by the Chablais Alps. A popular vacation spot, the lake has hosted such temporary and permanent residents as "Frankenstein" author Mary Shelley and David Bowie.

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This body of water has the reputation of being Germany's cleanest and deepest lake. Can you name it?

Germany's Königssee located near the Austria border in the German state of Bavarian has long been a destination for tourism and outdoor recreation. An idyllic, crystal clear alpine lake, Königssee remains Germany's cleanest lake largely thanks to the 1909 prohibition of fossil fuel-burning boats.

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This lake is the second-deepest in the United States. Can you ID it?

Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake located roughly on the state line between Nevada and California. Categorized as North America's largest alpine lake because of its elevation of approximately 6,200 feet, Lake Tahoe's surface area of 191 square miles clearly displays the curvature of the earth.

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This is the world's largest tropical lake. Can you identify it?

With a surface area of just over 23,000 square miles, Lake Victoria is the world's largest tropical lake. Named for Queen Victoria by British explorer John Hanning Speke in 1885, it borders three African nations: Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

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Can you name the deepest lake in the United States?

At a depth of 1,949 feet, Oregon's Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It was formed over seven thousand years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. Rich in wildlife, the area surrounding the lake is the home of the Mazama newt.

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This lake in Siberia contains 23% of the world's fresh surface water. Can you name it?

Thought to be the oldest lake on earth, Lake Baikal in south-eastern Siberia is also the world's deepest freshwater lake. Rich with wildlife, Lake Baikal is home to the Baikal seal which is endemic to the area.

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This lake is the shallowest of North America's Great Lakes. Can you identify it?

The last of the Great Lakes to be explored by Europeans, Lake Erie is named for a nation of Native Americans called the Erielhonan. The smallest and shallowest of the Great Lakes by volume, Lake Erie touches four states and one Canadian province: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Ontario.

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Can you identify this lake known as the "Queen of American Lakes"?

Lake George, located in upstate New York's Adirondack Mountains has long been a source of inspiration for artists. Noted for its pristine, crystal clear waters and mountain views, Lake George was a favorite location for such painters as Georgia O'Keeffe, Frank Vincent Dumond and many others.

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This Y-shaped lake is the fifth deepest in Europe. Can you ID it?

Located in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, Lake Como has long been a playground for the wealthy and powerful. Noted for the opulence of its many resorts, several locations on Lake Como were used for the royal planet Naboo in the 2002 "Star Wars" prequel "Attack of the Clones."

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According to legend, this lake in Africa can turn animals into stone. Can you name it?

Lake Natron is located in the African nation of Tanzania. Due to its high salinity and natural chemical content, the lake's waters have been known to mummify birds earning it a supernatural reputation. Despite its inhospitable conditions, the lake is the sole breeding area of the lesser flamingo.

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This body of water is often mistakenly called Scotland's only lake. Can you name it?

The Lake of Menteith's reputation as the only lake in Scotland is a bit of a misnomer. Although Scotland has many lochs (with the definitions of loch versus lake being the point of contention) and manmade lakes, Menteith is the country's only natural inland body of water.

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Of the five Great Lakes, this is the only one located entirely in the United States. Can you name this important body of water?

With shores on Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake located entirely in the United States. Additionally, it's the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third by surface area. Because of its many beaches, it's been called the third coast.

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This North American lake's name means "Lake of Shining Waters." Do you recognize this lake?

Known as the "Lake of Shining Waters" by the Huron, Lake Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes in surface area but edges Lake Erie out for volume. Flanked on the north, west and southwest by Ontario, Canada's most populous province, the city of Toronto lies on its northern shore.

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This is Central America's largest lake. Can you name it?

Slightly smaller than South America's Lake Titicaca, Lake Nicaragua has an area of 3,191 square miles. Although it is a freshwater lake, Lake Nicaragua is home to bull sharks commonly found in saltwater.

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This is the largest freshwater lake in China. Can you name it?

Although its average area of 1,400 square miles fluctuates wildly, the shrinking Poyang Lake remains China's largest freshwater lake. Often called "China's Bermuda Triangle," the lake is home to numerous unexplained disappearances and shipwrecks.

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Formed by movement in the earth's crust, this lake in Japan is more than four million years old. Can you ID this ancient lake?

Located northeast of Kyoto, Lake Biwa is Japan's largest freshwater lake. Formed by tectonic movement, it is also among the oldest lakes on the planet, with an age of around 4 million years. With its rich history and long association with Kyoto, Lake Biwa is a common subject of Japanese poetry.

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This Canadian lake is the fourth largest in North America. Can you name it?

Located in Canada's Northwest Territories, Great Bear Lake holds the distinction of being the largest lake located entirely within Canada's borders. Straddling the Arctic circle, the area around the lake is mostly uninhabited except for the community of Deline located on its western shore.

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Can you name this lake that has been called "America's Dead Sea"?

Utah's Great Salt Lake is the Western Hemisphere's largest saltwater lake. Although it has been called "America's Dead Sea," the Great Salt Lake differs from the Dead Sea in that it has an active ecosystem, making it home to various waterfowl, brine shrimp and algae.

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This lake in the Philippines is located in a volcanic caldera. Can you ID it?

Lake Taal can be found on Luzon in the Philippines. Located in a volcanic caldera formed after massive eruptions around 100,000 to 500,000 years ago, Lake Taal is the Philippines' third-largest lake. Volcano Island, located in the northwest portion of the lake, is home to an active volcano

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Can you name this lake located on the border between Utah and Arizona?

Named for John Wesley Powell who explored the region in 1869, Lake Powell was created by damming the Colorado River. Although the Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1963, it wasn't until 1980 that the lake reached its full depth of 3,700 feet.

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Can you identify this alpine lake located in Armenia?

Armenia's largest lake, as well as the largest body of water in the Caucasus, Lake Sevan is one of the largest freshwater alpine lakes on Earth. Providing essential irrigation and hydroelectric power as well as abundant fish, Lake Sevan is a cornerstone of the Armenian economy.

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This is the largest manmade lake east of the Mississippi River. Can you identify it?

Kentucky Lake was created in 1944 by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Formed by the placement of the Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River, Kentucky Lake has a surface area of just over 250 square miles.

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This lake, located between Arizona and California, is a favorite location for spring breakers. Can you name it?

A reservoir located on the Colorado River, Lake Havasu was created by the United States Bureau of Reclamation with the construction of the Parker Dam in the 1930s. Formerly land that was home to the Mohave people, Lake Havasu is a haven for recreation and sport fishing.

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Can you ID this large, shallow lake in the Canadian province of Manitoba?

Located in central Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg is among Canada's largest freshwater lakes. With its long, sandy beaches, the lake is a popular tourist destination for both locals and tourists. In recent years, Lake Winnipeg has faced a number of environmental threats largely related to algae blooms.

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Can you identify the largest freshwater lake in Florida?

Known as Florida's inland sea, Lake Okeechobee is the second largest freshwater lake located entirely within the borders of the 48 contiguous United States. Despite its large surface area of 730 square miles, Lake Okeechobee is extremely shallow with a depth averaging around nine feet.

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This large salt lake in Nevada is known for its prominent limestone formations. Can you name this lake?

One of the largest natural lakes in the state, Nevada's Pyramid Lake is named for the large, pointed limestone formations called "tufas" that dot its shores. One of Lake Pyramid's most notable tufas is the Great Stone Mother which resembles a seated Native American woman with a basket.

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Can you identify the largest lake in Alaska?

Located in southwest Alaska, Lake Iliamna is Alaska's largest lake and the third largest lake wholly within the borders of the United States. The lake is named for a legendary giant blackfish which, according to Native American myths, bites holes in the hulls of boats.

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This lake is the world's largest inland body of water. Can you identify it?

Located between Europe and Asia and bounded by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, the Caspian Sea is the world's largest lake. With a surface area of 143,200 square miles, the Caspian Sea contains over three times as much water as the Great Lakes combined.

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Can you identify this lake that supplies 40% of Northern Ireland's water?

The largest lake in the British Isles, Lough Neagh has a surface area of 151 square miles. Formed by tectonic events around 400 million years ago, this lough, located 20 miles from Belfast, is rich in archeological finds, yielding some of the oldest evidence of civilization ever uncovered in Ireland.

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By surface area, this is New Zealand's largest lake. Can you name it?

Roughly the size of the of Singapore, Lake Taupo is New Zealand's largest lake by surface area. Located on New Zealand's North Island, the lake fills the caldera of the dormant Taupo Volcano.

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This Canadian lake is the deepest in North America. Can you name it?

Aside from being the second largest lake in Canada's Northwest Territories, Great Slave Lake is also North America's deepest lake at a depth of 2,014 feet. Named for the Slavey tribe of the indigenous Dene people, its shores have been the home of humans dating back as far as 5,000 BCE.

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What's the name of this ancient crater lake in Indonesia?

The largest volcanic lake in the world, Indonesia's Lake Toba was the site of one of the most massive eruptions in earth's history. Some experts believe this catastrophe resulted in a worldwide volcanic winter which led to a severe decimation of the human race around 70,000 years ago.

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Can you ID the largest lake in Europe?

Lake Ladoga, located near St. Petersburg in northwestern Russia, is Europe's largest lake. An important hub for commercial fishing and transportation, Lake Ladoga was essential to the survival of the Soviet Union during the Second World War.

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Which of these is the largest freshwater lake in Spain?

Both Spain's largest lake as well as the largest lake on the Iberian peninsula, Sanabria Lake is the namesake of the Zamora province's Sanabria Lake Natural Park. Noted for its diverse wildlife, the park is home to one of the few remaining wild wolf populations in Western Europe.

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The palace that inspired Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle is located near this idyllic Bavarian lake. Can you name this body of water?

A popular destination for tourists, Germany's Alpsee is located near the famed Neuschwanstein Castle which served as the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. Often described as a fairytale setting come to life, the region around the Alpsee is world renowned for its unspoiled nature.

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