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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.

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1. Caspian Sea

Some people leave the Caspian Sea off because the word 'sea' appears in its name, but as a body of water surrounded by land, it is definitely a lake. It was named a sea by the Romans due to its salty water. It is bordered by Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan and is best known for its oil and caviar industries. The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world, with an area 4.5 times larger than Lake Superior and a water volume 3.5 times more than Lake Baikal.

Firuz Mukhtarov / Getty Images
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