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