Lake Superior

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Lake Superior is bounded by Ontario, Canada and Minnesota, USA, to the north and Wisconsin and Michigan, USA, to the south. It is the largest of North America's Great Lakes. It is the largest freshwater lake in the world (by surface area) and is the world's fourth-largest freshwater lake (by volume).


In the Ojibwa language, the lake is called "Gichigami" which translates literally as "big water." It is better known as "Gitche Gumee" as recorded by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in The Song of Hiawatha. Lake Superior is referred to as "Gitche Gumee" in the song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, by Gordon Lightfoot.

The lake was named le lac supérieur, or "Upper Lake," in the seventeenth century by French explorers because it was located above Lake Huron.


The last major shipwreck on Lake Superior was that of SS Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975.

According to legend, Lake Superior never gives up her dead. This is because of the low temperature of the water. Normally bacteria feeding off a sunken decaying body will generate gas inside the body, causing it to float to the surface after a few days. The water in Lake Superior, however, is cold enough year-round to inhibit bacterial growth, meaning bodies tend to sink and never surface.