Can You Identify These Lakes by Their Shapes?

By: William J. Wright

Can You Identify These Lakes by Their Shapes?
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?

Lake Titicaca This is the highest navigable lake in the world. Can you identify it?
Lake Omodeo
Melton Hill Lake
Lake Titicaca
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.
Lake Bled

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Lake Superior Can you identify the lake where the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in 1975?
Lake Powell
Lake Washington
Lake Superior
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."
Great Bear Lake

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Fontana Lake Can you ID this lake that makes up a portion of the southern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
Boone Lake
High Rock Lake
Fontana Lake
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.
Kerr Lake

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Okanagan Lake This Canadian lake is allegedly the home of a monster called Naitaka. Can you name it?
Okanagan Lake
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.
Peyto Lake
Lake Nipigon
Kootenay Lake

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Lake Huron 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?
Lake Ontario
Cayuga Lake
Lake Michigan
Lake Huron
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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Lake Geneva Can you identify this lake located on the north side of the Alps between Switzerland and France?
Lake Geneva
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.
Lake of Sainte-Croix
Gaube Lake
Lac de Guery

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Königssee This body of water has the reputation of being Germany's cleanest and deepest lake. Can you name it?
Lake Starnberg
Lake Schwerin
Kochelsee
Königssee
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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Lake Tahoe This lake is the second-deepest in the United States. Can you ID it?
Lake Travis
Table Rock Lake
Lake Havasu
Lake Tahoe
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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Lake Victoria This is the world's largest tropical lake. Can you identify it?
Lake Kivu
Lake Turkana
Lake Victoria
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.
Lake Tanganyika

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Crater Lake Can you name the deepest lake in the United States?
Crater Lake
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.
Lake Chelan
Fremont Lake
Blue Lake

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

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Lake Erie This lake is the shallowest of North America's Great Lakes. Can you identify it?
Lake Erie
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.
Lake St. Clair
Lake Michigan
Lake Algonquin

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Lake George Can you identify this lake known as the "Queen of American Lakes"?
Seneca Lake
Oneida Lake
Cayuga Lake
Lake George
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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Lake Como This Y-shaped lake is the fifth deepest in Europe. Can you ID it?
Lake Bled
Lake Constance
Lake Como
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."
Lake Ladoga

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Lake Natron According to legend, this lake in Africa can turn animals into stone. Can you name it?
Lake Natron
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.
Boiling Lake
Lake Tana
Lake Bangweulu

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Lake of Menteith This body of water is often mistakenly called Scotland's only lake. Can you name it?
Loch Ness
Loch Lomond
Pressmennan Lake
Lake of Menteith
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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Lake Michigan Of the five Great Lakes, this is the only one located entirely in the United States. Can you name this important body of water?
Lake Ontario
Sebago Lake
Lake Michigan
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.
Lake Champlain

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

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Lake Nicaragua This is Central America's largest lake. Can you name it?
Lake Nicaragua
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.
Lake Managua
Lake Güija
Lake Izabal

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Poyang Lake This is the largest freshwater lake in China. Can you name it?
Chao Lake
Tianchi Lake
Poyang Lake
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.
Baiyang Lake

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Lake Biwa 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?
Lake Biwa
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.
Lake Tazawa
Lake Motosu
Lake Kasumigaura

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Great Bear Lake This Canadian lake is the fourth largest in North America. Can you name it?
Moraine Lake
Spotted Lake
Great Bear Lake
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.
Lake Winnipeg

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Great Salt Lake Can you name this lake that has been called "America's Dead Sea"?
Salton Sea
Great Salt Lake
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.
Alkali Lake
Mono Lake

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Taal Lake This lake in the Philippines is located in a volcanic caldera. Can you ID it?
Taal Lake
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
Lake Toba
Lake Nyos
Lake Vico

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Lake Powell Can you name this lake located on the border between Utah and Arizona?
Lake Powell
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.
Utah Lake
Electric Lake
Sevier Lake

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Lake Sevan Can you identify this alpine lake located in Armenia?
Lake Ayger
Lake Akna
Lake Parz
Lake Sevan
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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Kentucky Lake This is the largest manmade lake east of the Mississippi River. Can you identify it?
Kentucky Lake
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.
Watauga Lake
Watts Bar Lake
Norris Lake

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

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Lake Winnipeg Can you ID this large, shallow lake in the Canadian province of Manitoba?
Peyto Lake
Lake Winnipeg
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.
Lake Simcoe
Moraine Lake

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Lake Okeechobee Can you identify the largest freshwater lake in Florida?
Lake Okeechobee
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.
Lake Kissimmee
Lake Seminole
Lake Osceola

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Pyramid Lake This large salt lake in Nevada is known for its prominent limestone formations. Can you name this lake?
Walker Lake
Washoe Lake
Castle Lake
Pyramid 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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Iliamna Lake Can you identify the largest lake in Alaska?
Lake Clark
Goose Lake
Naknek Lake
Iliamna Lake
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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Caspian Sea This lake is the world's largest inland body of water. Can you identify it?
Caspian Sea
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.
Adriatic Sea
Arabian Sea
Black Sea

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Lough Neagh Can you identify this lake that supplies 40% of Northern Ireland's water?
Lough Corrib
Lough Neagh
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.
Lough Ree
Lough Cullin

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Lake Taupō By surface area, this is New Zealand's largest lake. Can you name it?
Lake Taupo
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.
Lake Wanaka
Lake Hauroko
Lake Dunstan

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Great Slave Lake This Canadian lake is the deepest in North America. Can you name it?
Great Slave Lake
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.
Moraine Lake
Abraham Lake
Reindeer Lake

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Lake Toba What's the name of this ancient crater lake in Indonesia?
Lake Balkhash
Lake Toba
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.
Lake Van
Dal Lake

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Lake Ladoga Can you ID the largest lake in Europe?
Lake Onega
Vänern
IJsselmeer
Lake Ladoga
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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Sanabria Lake Which of these is the largest freshwater lake in Spain?
Sanabria Lake
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.
Lake of Banyoles
Lake Enol
Lake Ercina

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

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