Can You Match the World’s Largest Lakes to the Country They Belong In?


By: Patrick Hyde

6 Min Quiz

Image: KeithBinns/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Lakes are very versatile bodies of water. They can be the idyllic summer retreat, filled with fishing, campfires, boating and enjoying nature with the family. Or, if it's 1242 in Northern Europe, they can be the site of fearsome battles on frozen ice between crusading knights and Russian soldiers.

They can be as small as a third of a mile in surface area all the way up to a staggering 143,244 square miles in size. Do you prefer really clear lakes where you can see the bottom? Check out New Zealand's Lake Rotomairewhenua, the clearest lake in the world. Prefer your lakes to be pink? Head over to Australia's Lake Hillier, the pinkest lake in the world. How about lakes formed in giant meteor crash sites? Head to Crater Lake in Oregon and you will find just that.

These inland bodies can be freshwater, alkaline and, in some cases, just really salty. Of the freshwater lakes, just two lakes contain over 1/3rd of earth's entire supply of freshwater. Saltwater lakes like the Dead Sea allow you to float effortlessly while providing spa-like qualities for your skin.

So we'll test you on the biggest lakes of the world. We'll name the lake and you name the country. (Here's a tip: With over 2 million lakes, Canada is always a good guess if you're stuck!)

It's not a sea, it's just a lake. The Caspian Sea is actually a misnomer and the world's largest lake. Which of the following countries does it NOT border?

That's right, the Caspian Sea is actually the world's largest lake, straddling the border of Europe and Asia. It touches Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, but not Georgia.


Lake Superior is the biggest lake with the word lake in the title. It shares a border with:

Straddled between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. states of Minnesota and Michigan sits Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. The surface area of the northernmost of the Great Lakes is so vast that it is the equivalent to the state of South Carolina.


It's a car! It's a truck! No, it's a Van, Lake Van, the largest lake in which country?

Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey, located in a province of the same name. It's the largest lake with no outlets and sits in the shadow of a dormant volcano. Not quite as old as the lake itself but still old is the 10th-century Church of the Holy Cross, an Armenian Apostolic cathedral.


Only the brave would dare to skinny dip in Saimaa, a glacial lake in which northern country?

Saimaa is not a very old lake. It formed at the end of the last Ice Age due to glacial melt pooling in the southeast of Finland. The lake's unusual coastline is one of the longest in the world, with many little cottages and old stone castles giving the area a fairy-tale vibe.


When they're not lugging presents around the world, Rudolph and Vixen like to chill at Reindeer Lake, located in this country.

Ho ho ho! Reindeer Lake, located mostly in Canada's Saskatchewan province, used to be home to the NORAD Santa Cam program from 2002 to 2011. NORAD, or North American Aerospace Defense Command, has been tracking Santa's voyage from the North Pole every year and, presumably, aerospace matters the rest of the year.


The mighty Lake Albert is part of the African Great Lakes and shares a border with the DROC and ...?

Lake Albert, formerly known as Lake Mobutu Sese Seko, is part of the Upper Nile and is split between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. While the lake is a popular ferry destination linking the two countries, you can see many animals like giraffes on the lake shores.


Lake Winnipeg may be large in size but is shallow in depth. What country is it located in?

Located nearby the Canadian city of, well, Winnipeg, Lake Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba. While the lake has a surface area of almost 10,000 square miles, its average depth is only 39 feet.


Lake Kivu is part of the African Great Lakes. One of the countries it borders is the DROC. What is the other country?

Lake Kigali is home to numerous settlements in Rwanda and the Congo, as well as a large island that houses 250,000 inhabitants. But beneath its tranquil surface lurks deadly methane gas that is bubbling up, threatening to explode and release noxious gasses into the air. Authorities are trying to extract the methane to avoid an explosion.


This is NOT a trick question. Maybe. Where is Lake Nicaragua located?

I told you it wasn't a trick! Lake Nicaragua is a freshwater lake located in the country of the same name and the largest lake in Central America. Back in the colonial era, it was a hotbed of piracy as swashbucklers preyed on the nearby Spanish settlement of Granada.


The salt lake Urmia, now only at 10% of its original size, has seen better days. Where is it?

Lake Urmia used to be the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East but now, than less than 5% of its water is remaining. With an evaporation rate of almost 40 inches a year, the lake is at risk of disappearing completely and leaving a big salt marsh in Iran.


Speaking of salty, where is the Great Salt Lake located?

Utah's Great Salt Lake could also be called the Great Fluctuating Lake, due to how frequently the shoreline changes. With an average depth of only 17 feet, the shoreline can be anywhere between 1,000 to 3,500 square miles, depending on rainfall.


Lake Victoria is the bronze medal of lakes by surface area. Which of the following countries does it NOT border?

Lake Victoria is the crown jewel of the African Great Lakes. Situated in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, the 23,146-square-mile lake is the largest in all of Africa and the third largest in the world.


When people talk really big lakes, they mean Lake Michigan. Where is it located?

There are five Great Lakes, but Lake Michigan is the only one the United States can truly claim as their own. The lake is the second largest of the Great Lakes and is home to cities like Chicago and Milwaukee.


Hot springs, snow melt and over a 100 different rivers and streams flow into the mountain lake of Issyk-Kul in this country.

Issyk-Kul trails only Lake Titicaca for the title of highest-elevation lake in the world. This mountainous lake in Kyrgyzstan's name means "Warm Lake," due to the fact that it never freezes. Its high levels of salinity keep the lake unfrozen even as everything around it is covered in snow.


The Great Slave Lake is unfathomably deep, diving over 2,000 feet in depth at some places. Where is it located?

The Great Slave Lake, named after the First Nations Slavey people, is the deepest lake in all of North America. Yellowknife and many of the other population settlements in Canada's Northwest Territories are located on its shores.


Snakes, scorpions and crocodiles are a few of the beasties you will find at Lake Turkana. It borders:

Lake Turkana is located between Ethiopia and Kenya and at one point boasted the fearsome title as home of the largest population of crocodiles in Africa. In the middle of the lake sits Crocodile Island, a volcanic island full of craters, lava and reptiles.


Many sweet summer days have been spent on the shores of Lake Vanern, in what EU country?

Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden and the European Union. Many mythological tales surround the beautiful lake, including the story of Beowulf. Today, you are more likely to find pleasant summer homes and schools of salmon than old Norse warriors.


You can't talk big lakes without bring up Lake Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe. What country is its home?

Russia's Lake Ladoga is a whopping 6,800 square miles. In fact, a lake on the moon Titan, orbiting Saturn, is named after Ladoga. The lake's shores are dotted with fortresses, evidence of the many wars fought between Sweden and Novgorod throughout history.


The sickle-shaped Lake Balkhash is entirely within what former Soviet Union state?

The sickle lake Balkhash is located in southeastern Kazakhstan, the largest landlocked country in the world. The lake is home to Baku city and feeds 7 rivers that help irrigate the region but are contributing the shrinking size of the lake.


The Great Bear Lake may be the largest lake in this country, but it doesn't have many people living on its shores.

If you want to find you Great Bear Lake on a globe, spin it way, way north until you hit the Arctic circle. The Great Bear Lake is the largest lake entirely within Canada, straddling the Northwest Territories and the Arctic Circle. Population in the area was always sparse, but after mining operations shuttered, few people remain.


Don't be creeped out by Lake Erie. Instead, tell us which of the following countries it borders.

Lake Erie just misses the podium in the competition of largest of the North American Great Lakes, coming in 4th place in surface area. The lake is also the source of the Niagara River, which leads into the mighty Niagara Falls.


Rumor has it that an aquatic monster dwells in Lake Ness, located in which nation?

Better known as Loch Ness, this Scottish lake is deep and murky from peat, making it the perfect hiding spot for a Loch Ness Monster. Nessie, as she is locally known, haunts the waters.


Vembanad is the longest lake in which country?

Vembanad is 60 miles long, running through much of the southern state of Kerala. It's home to an important migratory-bird conservation as well as houseboats and boat races.


Escape to the magical Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, which is located in which country?

In the heart of the Canadian Rockies lies Maligne Lake, a beautiful interior lake with visible glaciers, deep blue water and mountain peaks. The tiny Spirit Island is a in a shallow part of the lake and presents a dramatic foreground to the mountain and lakes behind it.


Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America, surrounded by the snow-capped Andes mountains. Name one of the two countries it borders.

At an elevation of over 12,500 feet, Lake Titicaca, or "Mount of the Puma" in its native Quechua, is the highest lake in the world that humans regularly navigate. The serene and reflective lake is full of Inca ruins, and you can see tourists and natives jetting across the surface to islands in the lake.


Qinghai Lake, or Blue Sea Lake in literal translation, is the largest lake in which Asiatic country?

The lake is located in the Qinghai province of China in the region of Tibet, where 23 rivers converge to feed the lake. The lake brings many ornithologists and wandering monks to its shores, the former watching the migratory birds while the latter walk around the entire lake, a process that takes about 20 days.


Russia and ___ share borders of Lake Peipus, the largest transboundary lake on the European continent.

Today, Estonians and Russians enjoying fishing and boating on Lake Peipus. But the lake has not always been such a tranquil place. In 1242, the Teutonic Knights and Novgorod Republic fought the Battle of the Ice on the frozen lake.


Lake Tanganyika is known as the silver medal of lakes. It is located in four countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and:

Why the name? Well, Tanganyika is the second oldest freshwater lake, the second deepest and runner-up in volume. Lake Baikal holds all of those records. One thing the lake does it excel at is visibility; you can see through its crystal-clear waters to the boulders and ledges below.


Lake Huron is one of the world's largest lakes, stretching 206 miles long. What countries does it share a border with?

Island-hoppers, scuba divers, sailors and people who are seeking leisure flock to Lake Huron, the second largest of the Great Lakes of United States and Canada. The lake is home to over a thousand shipwrecks and 30,000 islands, meaning there is no shortage of exploration to be had.


Lake Malawi is so big they named a country after it. It also borders Tanzania and what other East African nation?

Part of the African Great Lakes, Lake Malawi borders Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique in East Africa. Today, scientists are puzzled by the absolutely Darwinian rate at which fish are evolving in the lake. Many local fish are evolving into hundreds of different variations.


The idyllic Lake Geneva is nestled in the Alps in which country?

Lake Geneva may not be one of the biggest lakes by surface area, but few can compete with it in terms of sheer beauty. Located mostly in Switzerland, the lake hosts the Swiss Riviera, full of quaint towns and trellised hills.


Dal is an urban lake in the northernmost part of which country?

Located in India's northern Kashmir region, Dal is a gorgeous mountain lake known as the "Jewel in the crown of Kashmir." The area is a popular tourist destinations, with visitors eager to walk through the royal gardens on the lake shores and the floating gardens on the lake.


Tourists in this sun-soaked country find plenty of time to relax at Lake Garda.

George Clooney may sing the praises of Lake Como, but Lake Garda is still the biggest lake in Italy. The lake is a popular destination for windsurfers. In the past, it served as a series of fortifications between Italy and Austria.


China is a large country with many borders. What neighbor does it share Lake Khanka with?

Lake Khanka is a shallow saltwater lake that straddles the border between Russia and China. The lake is known for its abundance of birds and fish. In olden days, Chinese emperors would request fish from the lake to be served at royal banquets.


An explorer searching for the source of the Blue Nile would end up at Lake Tana in:

Two main tributaries flow from central Africa into the mighty Nile River. The White Nile is the longer of the two, but the Blue Nile, which originates in Ethiopia's Lake Tana, provides much of the important water and silt.


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