There are a lot of reasons why you should be wild about big lakes, and a few why you should not.  It is a good thing if you like the clean air, the wildlife, the absolutely unique colors, and the soothing sounds of nature at work in places like Baikal and Superior.  "Because I love the fish", "because I love the sand and rocks", "because I love the sky over vast expanses of cold water, and the amazing weather there" are good reasons. "Because it is a 'dramatic' place to build a big shoreline house with a view" is not a good one!  Destruction is not a good sign of admiration!   "Because it's fun to sleep open or in a tent where there are no houses and only waves and stars all night long" is a good reason!

With these introductory remarks you may see that I like these lakes because of their natural settings, their indescribable variations and complexities, and also because they are a place where it is possible to go without pretension, and, if you have a soul, to know what infinity looks like when you are touching it. And they are intriguing from a scientific perspective also...  I'm a geographer interested in the natural landscapes at these fine lakes, and my scientific curiosity is as well tended here as is my sense of beauty and peace.

Lake Baikal is the largest lake in the world, and Lake Superior is the largest lake in the world... how is this possible?   Answer: they both are!   Lake Superior has such an expanse of open water (82,000 square kilometers!) that no other lake comes close! (Baikal is a mere 32,000 km2 by comparison.);  Lake Baikal's volume is like nothing else... can you imagine 32,000 cubic kilometers of water?   If you've seen Baikal you can! (Superior is a but 12,500 km3 by comparison...)   They are surprisingly similar, but vastly different.   Gentle and kind but severe and unforgiving.   But - I've found that if you are sincere they will give you only good luck!

Since I was little, living in Michigan and viewing the Great Lakes in all their different moods, I have known that there's something extraordinary - many things extraordinary - about lakes that are the size of seas!   I remember not just swimming in them, but the magnificent storms  which would slowly build up, release intense rain, snow, wind, hail, etc., and then fade away slowly, returning the lakes to their peaceful states.   I remember the clean water that you could drink when you swam, and the beautiful blue and green horizons.   I did more research on these seascapes when I was an undergraduate student, and then went so far as to spend 3 years working on my master's degree thesis on the life of islands in Superior and Baikal!  Although I am now often far away from the Lakes (in the Carpathian Mountains of East Europe or at school in Georgia) while I do more graduate study, I return as often as possible, and dream of them more than my professors approve of!

This modest site will give some information to help you learn something about Lakes Baikal and Superior, show a few nice pictures of what you would do better to see in real life, and mention a few other really big and interesting lakes.

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