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Incredible lakes around the world

Lakes have been the source of fascination for geologists, historians and general mankind for thousands of years. Coming in every shape, size, age, colour and depth you can imagine, they are natural wonders to behold and often the source of fear at what lurks beneath. With that in mind, we have scaled the globe and selected some of the most dramatic, breathtaking and potentially dangerous lakes you're ever likely to discover…

Mono Lake, California

The near-surreal environment of Mono Lake near the California-Nevada border has inspired artists and photographers for years. Its trademark 'tufa' towers (rock formations) give it a Dali-esque otherworldliness and it has even been described by Mark Twain as "the loneliest place on earth". Despite this, life prospers in the waters - providing a home for as many as 6 trillion brine shrimp - an important food source for migrating birds.

Mono Lake

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Five Flower Lake, China

If you like your lakes multi-coloured, head to the Five Flower Lake in China's Valley of Flowers National Park. As one of the most popular attractions in the country, you can watch its crystal clear waters change colour from turquoise to green and even see all the fallen trees lying on the lake's bed.

Five Flower Lake

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Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

Laguna Colorada, or Red Lagoon, is named for its red colour - a result of a particular type of algae living on the water's surface. In stark contrast, the surrounding borax islands are a bright white, making the area yet more dramatic.

Laguna Colorada

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Crater Lake, Oregon, USA

Crater Lake is one of Oregon's most prized landmarks. Created from an ancient collapsed volcano, the lake is nearly 2,000 feet deep and one of the clearest lakes in the world. Its most striking feature though, is the surrounding walls of rock and forest which cast dramatic reflections onto the lake's mirror-like surface.

Crater Lake

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Lake Karachay, Russia

We mentioned potentially dangerous lakes and this is definitely one you would not want to take a dip in. This small Russian lake was once the site of a radioactive waste dumping ground, and is thus now one of the most polluted bodies of water in the world.

Lake Karachay

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Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

These incredible waterfall lakes lie in the heart of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia and are renowned for their distinctive colours, ranging from azure, green, grey and blue. What makes them even more fascinating is they constantly change colour depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight - groovy!

Plitvice Lakes

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Caspian Sea, Russia

It may be called a sea, but this colossal expanse of water really is in fact a lake - it just happens to be seven times the size of your average one. The reason for this size is it was once part of the ancient Paratethys Sea and did not officially become a lake until about 5 million years ago.

Caspian Sea

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Loch Ness, Scotland

As well as being Scotland's second-deepest loch/lake, Loch Ness is undeniably most famous for being the alleged home to the Loch Ness Monster. This prehistoric looking creature has reportedly been spotted peeking its windy neck from the loch's eerie surface many a time over the last hundred or so years. Hmmm, the jury's still out on that one…

Loch Ness

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Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Lake Winnipeg is the eleventh- largest freshwater lake in the world. As Robert mentioned it has some of the sandiest beaches, making it one of the top hangouts in the summer. As well as beaches it is also home to limestone cliffs and bat caves!

Lake Winnipeg

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Torch Lake - Northern Lower Peninsula, Michigan

At 111 feet Torch Lake is Michigan’s deepest inland lake. The name of the lake refers to the Ojibwa name Was-wa-gon-ong which means “Place of the Torches”, this refers to when the native Americans used torches at night to attract fish to swim in their nets.

Torch Lake

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As always if you know of anymore lakes we can add to the list then let us know in the comments below.

Community comments (11)

Nice post. I have been to Crater lake, is stunningly beautiful!! The water is pristine and beautiful. There are many things to do like hiking, swimming, skiing, camping and boating. The great view of wildlife made you fascinated towards it. Its perfect for any season.
Lakes in the world

Great pictures! How about the Fuji Five Lakes in Japan?

I think Loch Ness not so unique place. All highlands in Scotland are full of lakes. All of them are beautiful!
My trip around Scotland last year.

Yes your right, there are many beautiful lakes up in Scotland, but you must admit Loch Ness does have that eerie feeling about it, and stands out as one to visit!

Torch Lake - Northern Lower Peninsula, Michigan

Long considered one of the cleanest fresh water lakes in the world, Torch is about 18 miles long and averages about a mile wide. There is legend of a schoolhouse that fell through the ice while being pulled by a horse team over a century ago, some say it can be seen from the air. Many lakes near Torch and Grand Traverse Bay in northern Michigan are stunningly beautiful.

Great addition, thanks Zoom!

Having worked two summers at Crater Lake in the '80's, I'm pretty sure the image you have shown above for Lake Karachay is actually another view of Crater Lake. Most online images of Karachay are not nearly so picturesque (or so "round"... Karachay appears to be a more linear form) as the gorgeous Crater Lake. Great story, though.

Thanks for highlighting that Ecosopher! Fixed up now with the correct image!

Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba Canada.

Larger than many countries and Grand Beach on the East Side voted one of the 10 best beaches in the world for Both Sand and Bikinis

Thanks Robert, i've added it to our list!

Breathtaking pictures.