Everything you ever wanted to know about the Great Lakes.

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Things You Probably Never Knew About The Great Lakes.....

1. Lake Superior is actually not a lake at all, but an inland sea .
2. All of the four other Great Lakes, plus three more the size of Lake Erie, would fit inside of Lake Superior.
3. Isle Royale is a massive island surrounded by Lake Superior. Within this island are several smaller lakes. Yes, that’s a lake on a lake.
4. Despite its massive size, Lake Superior is an extremely young formation by Earth’s standards (only 10,000 years old).
5. There is enough water in Lake Superior to submerge all of North and South America in 1 foot of water.
6. Lake Superior contains 3 quadrillion gallons of water (3,000,000,000,000,000). All five of the Great Lakes combined contain 6 quadrillion gallons.
7. Contained within Lake Superior is a whopping 10% of the world’s fresh surface water.
8. It’s estimated there are about 100 million lake trout in Lake Superior. That’s nearly one-fifth of the human population of North America!
9. There are small outlets through which water leaves Lake Superior. It takes two centuries for all the water in the lake to replace itself.
10. Lake Erie is the fourth-largest Great Lake in surface area, and the smallest in depth. It’s the 11th largest lake on the planet.
11. There is alleged to be a 30- to 40-foot-long “monster” in Lake Erie named Bessie. The earliest recorded sighting goes back as early as 1793.
12. Water in Lake Erie replaces itself in only 2.6 years, which is notable considering the water in Lake Superior takes two centuries.
13. The original publication of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax contained the line, “I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie.”
Fourteen years later, the Ohio Sea Grant Program wrote to Seuss to make the case that conditions had improved. He removed the line.
14. Not only is lake Erie the smallest Great Lake when it comes to volume, but it’s surrounded by the most industry.
Seventeen metropolitan areas, each with populations of more than 50,000, border the Lake Erie basin.
15. During the War of 1812, the U.S. beat the British in a naval battle called
the Battle of Lake Erie, forcing them to abandon Detroit.
16. The shoreline of all the Great Lakes combined equals nearly 44% of the circumference of the planet.
17. If not for the the Straits of Mackinac, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron might be considered one lake.
Hydrologically speaking, they have the same mean water level and are considered one lake.
18. The Keystone State was one of the largest and most luxurious wooden steamships running during the Civil War.
In 1861, it disappeared. In 2013, it was found 30 miles northeast of Harrisville under 175 feet of water.
19. Goderich Mine is the largest salt mine in the world. Part of it runs underneath Lake Huron, more than 500 meters underground.
20. Below Lake Huron, there are 9,000-year-old animal-herding structures used by prehistoric people from when the water levels were significantly lower.
21. There are massive sinkholes in Lake Huron that have high amounts of sulfur and low amounts of oxygen, almost replicating the conditions of Earth’s ancient oceans 3 million years ago. Unique ecosystems are contained within them.
22. Lake Huron is the second largest among the Great Lakes, and the fifth largest in the world.
23. In size, Lake Michigan ranks third among the Great Lakes, and sixth among all freshwater lakes in the world.
24. Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that is entirely within the borders of the United States.
25. The largest fresh water sand dunes in the world line the shores of Lake Michigan.
26. Because water enters and exits Lake Michigan through the same path, it takes 77 years longer for the water to replace itself than in Huron, despite their similarity in size and depth. (Lake Michigan: 99 years, Lake Huron: 22 years)
27. When the temperature of Lake Michigan is below freezing, this happens.
28. Within Lake Michigan there is a “triangle” with a similar reputation to the Bermuda Triangle, where a large amount of “strange disappearances” have occurred. There have also been alleged UFO sightings.
29. Singapore, Mich., is a ghost town on the shores of Lake Michigan that was buried under sand in 1871. Because of severe weather conditions and a lack of resources due to the need to rebuild after the great Chicago fire, the town was lost completely.
30. In the mid-19th century, Lake Michigan had a pirate problem. Their booty: timber. In fact, the demise of Singapore is due in large part to the rapidly deforested area surrounding the town.
31. Jim Dreyer swam across Lake Michigan in 1998 (65 miles), and then in 2003, he swam the length of Lake Michigan (422 miles).
32. Lake Michigan was the location of the first recorded “Big Great Lakes disaster,” in which a steamer carrying 600 people collided with a schooner delivering timber to Chicago. Four hundred and fifty people died.
33. Lake Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes in surface area, and second smallest in depth. It’s the 14th largest lake on the planet.
34. The province Ontario was named after the lake, and not vice versa.
35. In 1804, a Canadian warship, His Majesty’s Ship Speedy, sank in Lake Ontario. In 1990, wreck hunter Ed Burtt managed to find it.
Only, he isn’t allowed to recover any artifacts until a government-approved site to exhibit them is found. He’s still waiting.
36. Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run at Hanlan’s Point Stadium in Toronto. It landed in Lake Ontario and is believed to still be there.
37. A lake on Saturn’s moon Titan is named after Lake Ontario.
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They're called the Inland Seas for a reason... Superior took the 728ft long freighter the Edmund Fitzgerald, and despite averaging only 60-80ft in the central and eastern basins of Lake Erie (east of the islands), high end gale force winds can generate waves of 15-20ft in the open waters if oriented along the length of the lake (WSW or ENE wind directions).

The December 23rd 2022 winter storm with WSW winds of 50-60mph for the better part of a day pushed approximately 11 feet or water out of the western basin of Lake Erie, exposing the bottom in many places which was an unprecedented occurrence (the western basin averages 10-20ft depth).
 
The stair-step arrangement of basins is relatively new and resulted from the slow rise of the land as it rebounded from the depressing weight of the mile-thick ice sheets. Lake Erie and southern Lake Michigan were first unveiled by glaciers about 10,000 years ago. New York City was also covered by this same mile thick glacier. You can see the striations left by the glacier in the exposed bedrock in Central Park. Thank goodness for global warming.

10,000 years ago is a blink of the eye geologically considering that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
 
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The Great Lakes are referred to as "The Eighth Sea" in a documentary about the St. Lawrence Seaway. For those not family with the Seaway, it is one of the largest engineering and construction projects in history.

 
Things You Probably Never Knew About The Great Lakes.....

1. Lake Superior is actually not a lake at all, but an inland sea .
2. All of the four other Great Lakes, plus three more the size of Lake Erie, would fit inside of Lake Superior.
3. Isle Royale is a massive island surrounded by Lake Superior. Within this island are several smaller lakes. Yes, that’s a lake on a lake.
4. Despite its massive size, Lake Superior is an extremely young formation by Earth’s standards (only 10,000 years old).
5. There is enough water in Lake Superior to submerge all of North and South America in 1 foot of water.
6. Lake Superior contains 3 quadrillion gallons of water (3,000,000,000,000,000). All five of the Great Lakes combined contain 6 quadrillion gallons.
7. Contained within Lake Superior is a whopping 10% of the world’s fresh surface water.
8. It’s estimated there are about 100 million lake trout in Lake Superior. That’s nearly one-fifth of the human population of North America!
9. There are small outlets through which water leaves Lake Superior. It takes two centuries for all the water in the lake to replace itself.
10. Lake Erie is the fourth-largest Great Lake in surface area, and the smallest in depth. It’s the 11th largest lake on the planet.
11. There is alleged to be a 30- to 40-foot-long “monster” in Lake Erie named Bessie. The earliest recorded sighting goes back as early as 1793.
12. Water in Lake Erie replaces itself in only 2.6 years, which is notable considering the water in Lake Superior takes two centuries.
13. The original publication of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax contained the line, “I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie.”
Fourteen years later, the Ohio Sea Grant Program wrote to Seuss to make the case that conditions had improved. He removed the line.
14. Not only is lake Erie the smallest Great Lake when it comes to volume, but it’s surrounded by the most industry.
Seventeen metropolitan areas, each with populations of more than 50,000, border the Lake Erie basin.
15. During the War of 1812, the U.S. beat the British in a naval battle called
the Battle of Lake Erie, forcing them to abandon Detroit.
16. The shoreline of all the Great Lakes combined equals nearly 44% of the circumference of the planet.
17. If not for the the Straits of Mackinac, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron might be considered one lake.
Hydrologically speaking, they have the same mean water level and are considered one lake.
18. The Keystone State was one of the largest and most luxurious wooden steamships running during the Civil War.
In 1861, it disappeared. In 2013, it was found 30 miles northeast of Harrisville under 175 feet of water.
19. Goderich Mine is the largest salt mine in the world. Part of it runs underneath Lake Huron, more than 500 meters underground.
20. Below Lake Huron, there are 9,000-year-old animal-herding structures used by prehistoric people from when the water levels were significantly lower.
21. There are massive sinkholes in Lake Huron that have high amounts of sulfur and low amounts of oxygen, almost replicating the conditions of Earth’s ancient oceans 3 million years ago. Unique ecosystems are contained within them.
22. Lake Huron is the second largest among the Great Lakes, and the fifth largest in the world.
23. In size, Lake Michigan ranks third among the Great Lakes, and sixth among all freshwater lakes in the world.
24. Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that is entirely within the borders of the United States.
25. The largest fresh water sand dunes in the world line the shores of Lake Michigan.
26. Because water enters and exits Lake Michigan through the same path, it takes 77 years longer for the water to replace itself than in Huron, despite their similarity in size and depth. (Lake Michigan: 99 years, Lake Huron: 22 years)
27. When the temperature of Lake Michigan is below freezing, this happens.
28. Within Lake Michigan there is a “triangle” with a similar reputation to the Bermuda Triangle, where a large amount of “strange disappearances” have occurred. There have also been alleged UFO sightings.
29. Singapore, Mich., is a ghost town on the shores of Lake Michigan that was buried under sand in 1871. Because of severe weather conditions and a lack of resources due to the need to rebuild after the great Chicago fire, the town was lost completely.
30. In the mid-19th century, Lake Michigan had a pirate problem. Their booty: timber. In fact, the demise of Singapore is due in large part to the rapidly deforested area surrounding the town.
31. Jim Dreyer swam across Lake Michigan in 1998 (65 miles), and then in 2003, he swam the length of Lake Michigan (422 miles).
32. Lake Michigan was the location of the first recorded “Big Great Lakes disaster,” in which a steamer carrying 600 people collided with a schooner delivering timber to Chicago. Four hundred and fifty people died.
33. Lake Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes in surface area, and second smallest in depth. It’s the 14th largest lake on the planet.
34. The province Ontario was named after the lake, and not vice versa.
35. In 1804, a Canadian warship, His Majesty’s Ship Speedy, sank in Lake Ontario. In 1990, wreck hunter Ed Burtt managed to find it.
Only, he isn’t allowed to recover any artifacts until a government-approved site to exhibit them is found. He’s still waiting.
36. Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run at Hanlan’s Point Stadium in Toronto. It landed in Lake Ontario and is believed to still be there.
37. A lake on Saturn’s moon Titan is named after Lake Ontario.
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Pretty informative!
 
Lake Erie is also famous for huge walleyes and they can be caught on a regular basis. Three to ten pounders are very common which is rare for most lakes. The lake also has a large population of zebra mussels which do not seem to hinder the growth of large walleyes. We take a small group of Corvettes to Duluth Minnesota (Lake Superior) often times and cruise the shorelines. It's a blast. Two years ago during Covid we had rented a VRBO in Two Harbors with another couple and we couldn't go because my wife and I had Covid. The other couple were able to go without us. It's a beautiful area with great resterants, hotels, and views.
 
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Question: How do ships get from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, 'without' going 'over' Niagra Falls?
Answer: They go thru the Welland Canal.

Growing up, I had a neighbor who was a Captain on a tug-boat and he would dredge out the Welland Canal.
He was a really nice guy (his Wife also), .... they were, the Vanner's.
 
We have camped several times at a Michigan state park along the St Clair river between Port Huron and Lake St Clair. Its fun to see the freighters pass by. There are apps that will show you whats coming and from which direction. At night you can hear the hum of the engines as they pass.
As if that wasnt enough theres a couple good restaurants in the area that serve Walleye :cool:
 
Lake Erie is also famous for huge walleyes and they can be caught on a regular basis. Three to ten pounders are very common which is rare for most lakes. The lake also has a large population of zebra mussels which do not seem to hinder the growth of large walleyes. We take a small group of Corvettes to Duluth Minnesota (Lake Superior) often times and cruise the shorelines. It's a blast. Two years ago during Covid we had rented a VRBO in Two Harbors with another couple and we couldn't go because my wife and I had Covid. The other couple were able to go without us. It's a beautiful area with great resterants, hotels, and views.
And a reason the walleye are exploding is because of the goby fish...an invasive species that walleye happen to love to feast on!

However, and I don't know if the goby is the reason why, but yellow perch numbers are way down. Similar size as the goby losing the food competition? Don't know. Walleye gets all the attention, but I like yellow perch more!
 
Visited Sault St. Marie and the Soo Locks (between Lake Huron and Lake Superior) a few years ago.

Cliffs on Lake Superior:
Cliffs.jpg


Soo Locks:

Locks.jpg


Tahquamenon Falls which is a river off of Lake Superior. The water turns brown as it picks up tannins when passing through a cedar swamp.

 
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In WWII, 28 subs were built in Manitowoc, WI. Down to Chicago, thru the Chicago River (very tight!), to the Illinois River to the Mississippi. USA wanted a ship building facility away from the coasts. Now they go thru the St. Lawrence Seaway (completed 1959).


Someone please post a pic of the subs in Chicago River - the're there. Too busy celebrating SDSU going to the Final Four!!
 
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Lake Superior average water temp is 43*F. Everyone should experience the North Shore when the wind comes from the East and a front comes through. 30 degree temp drops are real with waves out of a movie. They call it the icebox for a reason.
 
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