Lakes are found on mountaintops, below sea level and on every continent on Earth. Technically defined as a basin filled with water that is surrounded by land, lakes are most commonly found in rift zones, mountainous areas and places with glaciers. Although the volume of water in lakes is measured, when listing the largest lakes in the world most people look at the surface area of the water. Although lakes are found throughout the world, most of the largest lakes are in Africa and North America.


1. Great Slave Lake

Like Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake is located in Canada's Northwest Territories and is frozen for eight months of the year. It has a surface area of 10,502 square miles. Great Slave Lake is named for the First Nations Dene people who were called Slavey by the Cree. The city of Yellowknife was established on the shores of the lake when gold was discovered in the area, and it is now the capital of the Northwest Territories.

Frozen for Most of Year / Getty Images

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