A lake is a large body of water that is surrounded by land. 


How are lakes different to rivers and seas?

Lakes are different to rivers because they do not flow. They are normally bigger and deeper than ponds. 

Lakes can be big or small. Some lakes are so big that people in the past used to call them seas but they are actually separated from seas. Most lakes are made of fresh water.

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What is a closed lake?

Usually, rivers or streams flow into lakes and drain water out of the lake when it gets too full. 

If there are no rivers flowing out of the lake or they are very small, the only way the lake can drain water is through evaporation or by being soaked into the soil. These types of lakes are called closed lakes.

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If the water evaporates quickly and the land around the lake has a lot of salt, the water left behind in the lake becomes salty and is called a salt lake. Most closed lakes are salt lakes.


What are lakes used for?

Lots of animals and plants make their homes in lakes. People use lakes for drinking water, for fishing, to water their crops and even to create electricity. Lakes are also great places to have fun, swim and play water sports. 

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Did you know?

  • More than 60% of the lakes of the world are found in Canada. 
  • There are lakes on other planets too. Saturn has a giant lake but it isn’t filled with water, it’s filled with liquid gas.
  • Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic is the only saltwater lake in the world where crocodiles live.