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Top 10 Facts About Lake Superior

Lake Superior • Credit: Rob Stimpson
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Top 10 Facts About Lake Superior

Did you know these cool facts about this great lake?



OK, we tried to keep it to just ten facts, but there were so many cool facts about this beautiful body of water we actually listed twenty. These facts are in no particular order because they are all so interesting. We'll leave it up to you as to which is number one!

1. Lake Superior contains 10% of the planet's fresh surface water.

2. It covers 82,000 sq km (31,700 sq mi) with an average depth of 147 metres or 483 feet.

3. The deepest point in the lake is 405 metres or 1,333 feet. 

4. There have been about 350 shipwrecks recorded in Lake Superior and Lake Superior is known to never give up her dead. Over 10,000 lives have been lost in her waters.

5. Lake Superior is, by surface area, the largest lake in the world.

6. It contains as much water as all the other Great Lakes combined, plus three extra Lake Eries!

7. There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America with water one foot deep.

8. There are 78 different species of fish that call the big lake home.

9. The maximum wave ever recorded on Lake Superior was 9.45 metres or 31 feet high.

10. If you stretched the shoreline of Lake Superior out to a straight line, it would be long enough to reach from Duluth, Minnesota to the Bahamas.

11. Over 300 streams and rivers empty into Lake Superior with the largest source being the Nipigon River in Ontario.

12. The average underwater visibility of Lake Superior is about 8 metres or 27 feet, making it the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes. Underwater visibility in some spots reaches 30 meters.

13. In the summer, the sun sets more than 35 minutes later on the western shore of Lake Superior than at its southeastern edge.

14. Some of the world's oldest rocks, formed about 2.7 billion years ago, can be found on the Ontario shore of Lake Superior.

15. It very rarely freezes over completely.

16. The average temperature of Lake Superior is 36°F or 2°C... very refreshing on a hot summer day!

17. The Trans-Superior International Yacht Race is the world's longest freshwater sailboat race.

18. Lake Superior has its own tide.

19. Changes in water levels are more noticeable from prevailing winds pushing water to the Eastern shore.

20. The dense basalts of Lake Superior acted like a wall or brake for the glaciers 18,000 years ago, which is why there is a driftless area in Wisconsin today.

21. Lake Superior was featured in a song written by Gordon Lightfoot called "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

22. After a big storm, Lake Superior always churns up stuff from the past and it ends up on the shores of the big lake. These items include lake glass, old lumber, pull tabs from beer and pop cans, and coal used in old factories. We like to pick lake glass every time it storms. (Thanks to John B.)

23. If all the water were drained from North America, Lake Superior would be the lowest point of land on the continent. (Thanks to Jim I.)

Do you have an interesting fact about Lake Superior that isn't listed here? If you've got one send an email to info@algomacountry.com and I'll add it to this list.

Algoma Old Woman BayOld Woman Bay picnic area on Lake Superior. (Photo credit: Rob Stimpson)

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