Superior facts

Here are some little-known, amazing facts that most of us never realize, sent to me through the magic of e-mail by one of my longtime readers. I’m talking about the huge body of water that cuddles the southern side of our very own province in Northern Ontario.

Lake Superior contains ten per cent of all the fresh water on the planet Earth. It covers 82,000 square kilometres or 31,000 square miles.

The average depth is 147 meters or 483 feet.

There have been about 350 shipwrecks recorded in Lake Superior.

Lake Superior is, by surface area, the largest freshwater lake in the world.

A Jesuit priest in 1668 named it Lac Tracy, but the name was never officially adopted.

It contains as much water as all the other Great Lakes combined, plus three extra Lake Eries.

There is a small outflow from the lake at St. Mary’s River (Sault Ste. Marie) into Lake Huron, but it takes almost two centuries for water to be completely replaced.

There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America with water a foot deep.

Lake Superior was formed during the last glacial retreat, making it one of the earth’s youngest major features, at only about 10,000 years old.

The deepest point in the lake is 405 meters or 1,333 feet.

There are 78 different species of fish that call the big lake home.

The maximum wave ever recorded on Lake Superior was 9.45 meters or 31 feet high.

If you stretched the shoreline of Lake Superior out to a straight line, it would be long enough to reach from Duluth to the Bahamas.

Over 300 streams and rivers empty into Lake Superior with the largest source being the Nipigon River.

The average underwater visibility of Lake superior is about 8 meters or 27 feet, making it the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes. Underwater visibility in some spots reaches 30 meters.

In the summer, the sun sets more than 35 minutes later on the western shore of Lake Superior than on its southeastern edge.

Some of the world’s oldest rocks, formed about 2.7 billion years ago, can be found on the Ontario shore of Lake Superior.

It very rarely freezes over completely, and then usually just for a few hours. Complete freezing occurred  in 1962, 1979, 2003 and 2009.

The Little Lady and I tried wading in its waters, when we took a trip west a couple of decades ago, and I had to put up with her cold feet all night in the motel; believe me folks, that was mid-summer, the water was cold….brrrr.

So there you have it, folks. Now you know.

Take care, ‘cause we care.