Following on from my post on rivers, I figured that I should definitely do a post about lakes.
Lakes are unique in that they can be quite small, or absolutely huge. At their biggest, they rival entire countries for sheer size. For example, the Great Lakes that straddle the US/Canadian border would occupy a territory nearly as large as the United Kingdom, if combined. The Great Lakes also hold 21% of the earth’s surface freshwater, which we can probably agree is quite a significant percentage!
Lakes do need to be distinguished from ponds. A pond is typically a much shallower, smaller body of water than a lake, however unlike with rivers, there is no internationally agreed consensus as to what the boundary is.
One of the most famous lakes in the world is the legendary Loch Noss, found near Inverness in Scotland. Loch Ness is famous for the tale of Nessie, a dinosaur-like creature that has historically been said to reside within the loch.
The story of the monster goes back a lot further than a lot of people realise. One story dates back to the 7th Century (albeit it applies to the River Ness, as opposed to the loch), and some stories date to the 19th Century. It is in relatively modern times (the 1930s, so actually, some 90 years ago!) that the legend took hold of the public imagination, though every effort to find the creature through scientific means has failed. There have been many photos, reports, etc, but they have proven to be elaborate hoaxes, or misunderstandings.
Is it possible there’s something in Loch Ness? It is a very deep body of water, with links to other large bodies of water, and even a link to the North Sea. In theory, something could travel back and forth, but could something have survived for so long, undetected? The wildest suggestions are that the monster is a dinosaur, which implies a lineage of a dinosaur surviving 65 million years beyond every other dinosaur, and evading detection throughout all of human civilisation. That seems highly unlikely!
Leaving Loch Ness to one side, we have other, picturesque lakes. Lake Toba is not only the caldera of a super-volcano, it is also a massive, beautiful natural beauty.
It’s fair to say that lakes are yet another demonstration of the wonderful natural world.