I'm a huge fan of silly fun facts. I constantly collect them like trading cards, ready to share them with everyone around me. And recently, I learned a fact about one of Michgian's favorite bodies of water... it turns out, we're calling it a lake when really, it's something else entirely.


We're pretty passionate about the Great Lakes that surround Michigan. But, one of them is uniquely different than the others... it's not a lake. According to the National Parks Service, Michigan's largest great lake, Lake Superior, is actually something entirely different

Why is Lake Superior Not Actually A Lake?

According to the National Parks Service, Lake Superior is actually an 'inland sea'.

And no, I didn't make that term up... according to Wikipedia, an inland sea is

a continental body of water which is very large in area and is either completely surrounded by dry land or connected to an ocean by a river, strait or "arm of the sea". An inland sea will generally be brackish, with higher salinity than a freshwater lake but usually lower salinity than seawater. As with other seas, inland seas experience tides governed by the orbits of the Moon and Sun.

Harvey Meston/Getty Images
Harvey Meston/Getty Images

So, due to Lake Superior's larger-than-life size, it's considered more like a sea than a lake. In fact for context on its size, all of the other great lakes can fit inside of it at the same time. AND they could still add three additional Lake Eries.

So due to the way they have to monitor its waves and weather, it tends to be more 'sea' '-like than lake-like. Pretty crazy, right?

Read More: No, Michigan Doesn't Actually Have Seagulls

Don't worry though, we aren't going to ask you to start calling it the "Superior Sea" (even though it does sound cooler) it's just a tiny fact you can now carry around with you and share with others and sound super smart.

The 11 Best Beaches in Michigan on Great Lakes

If you're looking for Michigan's Best Great Lakes Beaches, look no further than US News' 2024 ranking of the Best Beaches on the Great Lakes. Using beach and water quality, surrounding amenities, and attractions, among other criteria, US News has selected the 11 best beach options.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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