World's Biggest Lakes Quiz

How many of the world's 20 largest lakes can you name?
Ranked by surface area in square kilometers
Includes saltwater lakes and inland seas - but not Lake Maracaibo
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: March 2, 2020
First submittedJanuary 8, 2013
Times taken44,408
Rating4.36
4:00
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Area
Continent
Lake
371,000
Asia/Europe
Caspian Sea
82,100
North America
Superior
68,870
Africa
Victoria
59,600
North America
Huron
58,000
North America
Michigan
32,600
Africa
Tanganyika
31,500
Asia
Baikal
31,000
North America
Great Bear Lake
29,500
Africa
Malawi
27,000
North America
Great Slave Lake
Area
Continent
Lake
25,700
North America
Erie
24,514
North America
Winnipeg
18,960
North America
Ontario
18,130
Europe
Ladoga
16,400
Asia
Balkhash
12,500
Antarctica
Vostok
9,720
Europe
Onega
8,372
South America
Titicaca
8,264
North America
Nicaragua
7,850
North America
Athabasca
+5
Level 33
Aug 15, 2011
Uh, time to study my lakes!
+14
Level 44
Dec 20, 2011
Just a bit of info.....

The determination of the Caspian Sea as a lake or a sea is in dispute and under negotiation between the 5 littoral states bordering it. A previous agreement between the Soviet Union and Iran listed it as a lake but since the break-up of the USSR the new littoral nations have refused to acknoweldge the previous treaty. If the Caspian were a lake the resources (oil, gas, fishing) and area would be split evenly between the five but if it is a sea the borders would be drawn out from the borders of each nation which would mean Iran would have considerably less territory under their control. There are other concerns but this is the primary issue.

+9
Level 21
Apr 21, 2012
13/20 and i'm 11 :D
+8
Level 47
Apr 5, 2018
That is not a score to brag about...
+11
Level 73
Mar 8, 2020
I disagree. I'm 18 and got 10.
+4
Level 67
Mar 8, 2020
It is, the average is 9 so it is pretty good.
+4
Level 57
May 7, 2020
I hate when someone discourages other
+18
Level 63
Mar 8, 2020
I got 21/20 and I am illiterate.
+5
Level 68
Jun 24, 2012
I was surprised to not find the Aral Sea on this list. I know it's been shrinking a lot, but still! So I went to Wikipedia to check, and was shocked to find out that it doesn't even exist anymore! D:
+1
Level 16
Jun 20, 2013
At least there's still a NORTH Aral Sea, despite no SOUTH Aral Sea.
+5
Level 54
Mar 16, 2017
It's much worse now. I am now calling it by the new name, The Aralkum Desert.
+1
Level 59
Jan 29, 2021
The Northern part has rebounded most of the way, and is climbing towards normal levels. But the Syr Darya cannot fill the entire sea by itself so whatever extra water they let out just dries up. The western part is still shrinking but it has more depth to area so it is dropping slower.
+1
Level 43
May 26, 2019
Aral Sea is like 3 lakes now but on google maps it says it the thin western part
+2
Level 59
Jan 22, 2021
Poor Aral Sea. If not for extreme evaporation, it would rank fourth in this list.
+1
Level 70
Jan 8, 2013
Balkhash is not working! I tried it many times too.
+1
Level ∞
Jan 9, 2013
Fixed. Thanks!
+1
Level 58
Jan 8, 2013
i knew baikal. it was on the tip of my tongue. i tried baikan, balkan, balkai, bankal, baklain, etc. and whatever. i tried it like 20 times but i just didn't get baikal =(
+1
Level 39
Jan 9, 2013
Why not Black Sea?
+1
Level 16
Jun 20, 2013
The ocean flows into the black sea, not the other way around.
+1
Level 59
Jan 8, 2015
No, the Black Sea and Atlantic Ocean both flow into the Mediterranean Sea.
+3
Level 59
Jan 29, 2021
Because lakes aren't part of the ocean?
+1
Level 69
Nov 14, 2013
Man, missed all the Canadian ones . . . accidentally forgot about the neighbor to the north.
+1
Level 75
Oct 30, 2014
If you are using maximum annual area, then Tonle Sap in Cambodia (16,000 sq km) qualifies. It varies annually between this size in November (end of the wet season) and 2700 sq km in April (end of the dry season).
+1
Level 71
Dec 12, 2015
Lake Eyre in Australia has a maximum area of over 9,500 sq km.
+1
Level 81
Nov 5, 2014
I cheated as much as to check what the name of Lake Onega was in English. Believe it or not, we call it Ääninen, which doesn't really sound a lot like Onega.
+4
Level 71
Dec 12, 2015
I would not get one question correct if the quiz was in Finnish.
+2
Level 87
Jan 8, 2015
That second bullet point in the quiz description is an odd one... "but not Lake Maracaibo". Wouldn't it be better to state the reason Lake Maracaibo isn't included, instead of just randomly excluding it? I'm assuming it has something to do with the fact that it's tidally influenced?
+3
Level 54
Mar 16, 2017
Lake Maracaibo is a lagoon or bay. The Caspian sea is a lake. The Aral sea is a desert.
+1
Level 43
May 26, 2019
Aral Sea is like 3 lakes now but on google maps it says it's the thin western part
+1
Level 59
Jan 29, 2021
I would say the northern part is because that part is stable and rising.
+3
Level 87
Jan 8, 2015
Another item that might bear further review is the inclusion of sub-glacial Lake Vostok. While it has been proven that there is water down there, it's also covered by 13,000 feet of ice which will never melt. Well, that is to say, if it DID melt, then we'd have a hell of a lot bigger problems than ranking lake sizes, because there'd be an ocean in most of our backyards.

Incidentally, if water located permanently beneath a hard surface is to be included, then Salar de Uyuni in South America should be on there. Below a salt crust surface is a 10,582 sq. km pool of brine.

+1
Level 74
Jan 8, 2015
Agreed. Vostok shouldn't be included.
+1
Level 84
Jul 5, 2019
the difference is if it gets hotter the Antarctic lake would appear, whereas Salar de Uyuni would still be under a salt crust.
+1
Level 47
May 11, 2020
considering antarctica is more like an acrhipelago without ice, it might just be ocean...
+1
Level 21
Jan 8, 2015
20/20 on first try, and I'm only 11!
+1
Level 21
Jan 8, 2015
but it took me a while to get Athabasca, Vostok, Onega, Balkhash, and Nicaragua, but I finished with 1:36 left.
+2
Level 65
Mar 24, 2016
You know what? Good for you!!!!!!!!!.....................................
+9
Level 65
Mar 24, 2016
I got 69/20 and I'm -3 year old!
+6
Level 43
May 26, 2019
10,000% and I'm born in 10,000BC!!!
+3
Level 85
Mar 8, 2020
I don’t remember what score I got. I was just born yesterday.
+2
Level 61
Dec 24, 2020
i got 1000.01% and I was born Venus!
+1
Level 66
Jan 12, 2015
9/20
+1
Level 61
Jan 19, 2016
Very surprised that Salt Lake, Lake Geneva, Lake of the Woods, and Lake Tahoe aren't on here.
+1
Level 67
Jun 5, 2016
Lake Geneva, and Lake Tahoe.
+1
Level 59
Mar 4, 2017
Please accept Nyasa and Niassa as alternatives for Malawi. It is called those by Tanzania and Mozambique respectively. Former claims part of lake - latter unquestionably owns part. And Nyasa is what all British school kids were taught in my (ancient) generation!
+1
Level 72
Mar 4, 2017
I haven't been there since '94, but at that point, Malawians had appeared to be well over the British Empire and were using their own name for their lake.
+1
Level 71
Mar 4, 2017
Know your lakes? try my ' Largest lakes in area by continents '
+1
Level 60
Mar 4, 2017
Despite its name the Caspian Sea is often regarded as the world's largest lake, but it contains an oceanic basin (contiguous with the world ocean until 11 million years ago) rather than being entirely over continental crust
+1
Level 43
May 26, 2019
It's also kinda being diluted by fresh water apparently
+1
Level 21
Mar 4, 2017
lake tanzania should be accepted for tanganyika
+1
Level 60
Nov 3, 2020
Tanzania was actually derived partly from Tanganyika. "Tan" is from Tanganyika (the old name for the mainland part of Tanzania) and "Zan" is from Zanzibar, which Tanganyika merged with. "Ia" is the suffix, probably because "Tanzan" by itself sounds a bit weird. I don't think Tanzania should be accepted.
+1
Level 49
Mar 5, 2017
I think you need to include a note about seasonal lakes not being included in the quiz. Lake Eyre (max area 9,500km2) and Lake Torrens (max area 5,745km2) are large enough to make in onto this list but rarely have water in them because they are both in Outback Australia.
+1
Level 49
Mar 5, 2017
Re: my earlier post - ignore Lake Torrens I was looking at the wrong page when I included it in the comment. Lake Eyre is definitely large enough to be included.
+2
Level 62
Mar 6, 2017
It would be a cool feature if, when you finished the quiz, a map of the world popped up showing the lakes.
+3
Level 65
May 1, 2017
I had no idea that someone actually went out to these desolate lakes in Canada (Athabaska, Great Bear, Great Slave,) and actually measured them, shows what kind of civil service we had umpteen years ago.
+1
Level 84
Jul 5, 2019
probably GPS
+1
Level 62
Mar 8, 2020
People do live up there - have done for thousands of years, actually. Also, great camping spots. They're gorgeous and the fish are delicious.
+1
Level 81
May 2, 2017
Dang. Missed the Caspian Lake. :-P
+1
Level 72
Oct 4, 2018
A great quiz. I would like to see more lake quizzes.
+1
Level 55
Jan 27, 2020
Surface area for Caspian sea seems a bit (well, about 60,000 sq km) bigger than it is in reality. That figure is more in line with surface area of the Black sea.
+1
Level ∞
Mar 2, 2020
Looks like you are right. The Wikipedia article has been updated, so we updated the quiz.
+1
Level 67
Mar 8, 2020
Wow I only knew 8, thats not too great (though the average is 9 so that makes me feel a bit better)
+1
Level 65
Mar 9, 2020
I only knew 7. But I got 15 because I'm fast reading comments.
+1
Level 82
Mar 8, 2020
couldn't figure out how to spell Tanganyika this time.
+1
Level 65
Mar 9, 2020
Good quiz, decently hard, but not too tough. Could you accept Cocibolca and Granada as type-ins for Lake Nicaragua?
+2
Level 65
Mar 9, 2020
I got 15/20 and my score wasn't even better only because nobody wrote in the comments the name of the 5 lakes I missed. Shame on you...
+2
Level 67
Nov 3, 2020
People can be so inconsiderate.
+1
Level 60
Mar 10, 2020
If you’re going to not allow Maracaibo as a lake because it’s connected to the sea, you should consider Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to be the same lake because they are connected on flat water.
+2
Level 67
Nov 3, 2020
Maracaibo has lake in its name but it's totally not a lake. It's not so much connected to the sea, it's part of the sea.
+1
Level 65
Jun 24, 2020
Does Bangweulu in Zambia not count?
+1
Level 68
Jul 12, 2021
It's too small to be on the list.
+1
Level 51
Dec 22, 2020
I didn't realize lake Winnipeg was that big, wow
+1
Level 67
Jan 22, 2021
Somewhat surprised that some very large countries, like China, Brazil, and India, don't have a single lake on here.