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Historic Waters: 4 of the Oldest Lakes within the World

Our Earth is seventy-one % lined in water, so it shouldn’t shock many who there are waterways older than the human race. The oldest lakes on this planet comprise historic waters far older than we will fathom!

At the moment we’re inspecting the oldest lakes on this planet. With so many different our bodies of water being previous, it’d shock you to be taught that only a few lakes are greater than even tens of millions of years previous. We’ll discover 4 of the oldest lakes in additional element under!

The Oldest Lakes within the World

People advanced round 200,000 years in the past, whereas the oldest identified our bodies of water vary from 30-70 million years previous. That’s sufficient time for a lot of different types of life to have conquered the world after which withered away. There are solely about 20 lakes which are believed to be greater than one million years previous.

Compared, the Cretaceous interval was solely 66 million years in the past. So the dinosaurs by no means drank from these lakes, however nearer ancestors than now we have within the current day did. There may be debate on the accuracy of courting for these water our bodies, and one which will have dated to the cretaceous interval is slowly constructing to extinction.

Just a few of probably the most historic waters embrace:

  • Lake Biwa
  • Lake Baikal
  • Lake Tanganyika
  • Lake Zaysan

Let’s discover precisely how these 4 historic lakes got here to be and what makes every one distinctive and interesting.

What Makes an Historic Lake?

An historic lake is one which has had water for at the least one million years.


With all of the water in our world, what constitutes an historic lake? How can we inform the age of the water?

An historic lake is one which has held water for, at minimal, a million years. There are solely 20 of those historic lakes identified. Most of what we contemplate historic lakes have had water for the Quaternary interval, which suggests within the final 2.6 million years. 

That is related as a result of that interval has lots to do with the expansion and recession of glaciers and enormous mammals. Glacier withdrawal undoubtedly can contribute to many of those lakes starting their durations of holding water. Typically these historic lakes nonetheless exist because of being over a rift zone.

A rift zone is a spot the place plate tectonics contribute to the depth of the lake, making it more durable for it to dry out or fill with filth. Divergent plates, or plates which are throughout from each other, type a connection as a valley, then the valley turns into the underside of the lake. It could always be rising deeper over time.

Lake Biwa

Oldest Lake - Lake Biwa
Lake Biwa is the biggest freshwater lake in Japan


Japan is the house of Lake Biwa, the biggest freshwater lake within the nation. Lake Biwa is simply thirty miles out of Osaka and is the right getaway for a day journey. It’s round 4 or six million years previous and is the results of being over a rift zone. 

This lake is dwelling to greater than 1,000 totally different animal species and is large for waterbird migration, having greater than 5,000 journey to it over the 12 months. Some fish that may be discovered embrace:

The freshwater that fills this lake is a lovely, wealthy blue and is a part of the reservoir for water for neighboring cities. It’s a shocking view at sundown, reflecting the pink hues and displaying off bordering mountains. 

Lake Biwa additionally helps a robust pearl business resulting from its staggering quantity of freshwater mussels which are endemic to the realm. This implies sure mussels can solely be present in these waters.

258 sq. miles lengthy with a depth of 341 ft, Lake Biwa doesn’t stand out a lot in measurement or depth in comparison with the opposite lakes on this record, nevertheless it gives for the group round it in a wealthy means. It serves as a reservoir for the cities of Kyōto and Ōtsu and is a invaluable useful resource for close by textile industries. Lake Biwa ultimately flows into the Seto Inland Sea.

Its identify supposedly comes from its similarities to an instrument referred to as the biwa, and it was first named in writing across the 14th century.

Lake Baikal

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Lake Baikal is the biggest and deepest freshwater lake on this planet.

Nikitin Victor/

Lake Baikal is usually cited because the oldest lake on this planet as a result of it may be definitively dated. It isn’t primarily based on hypotheticals the way in which the science for Lake Zaysan (the oldest) is. This lake additionally occurs to be each the biggest and the deepest freshwater lake on this planet.

This lake is 25 million years previous, with completely clear waters that sink into its depths. Clearwater our bodies type due to a sound filtration system and lack of sediment within the water. This lowers its acidity and produces tinged clear water. 

With clear blue waters and a frozen heart, Lake Baikal is a three-day journey alongside the Trans-Siberian Railway, beginning in Moscow, Russia. It isn’t for the faint of coronary heart and could be a grueling journey.

Lake Baikal reaches a span of 12,248 miles with a depth of 2442 ft. With seventy-one % of the world lined in water, this lake holds a whopping twenty-three % of that water. There are species of animals that may solely be discovered on this lake and the encircling areas.

Glacier runoff initially shaped this lake, which is a part of what helps preserve it crystal clear. Many our bodies of water made out of glacier soften are clear in the identical means.

Lake Tanganyika

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Lake Tanganyika is dwelling to many species, together with the Nile Crocodiles.

Naoki Kakuta/

In comparison with Lake Baikal, Lake Tanganyika ranks second in lots of features. It’s the second-largest and second deepest freshwater lake on this planet. It does are available in first place as being the longest lake of its sort at 418 miles in straight size.

Components of this lake are anoxic, which suggests the water lacks oxygen. It’s because it has fossilized water in some deep sections, water so previous it not holds oxygen. Some areas have restricted animals as a result of they can not maintain fish.

This lake can be distinctive as a result of it’s unfold throughout 4 international locations: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia. 

Since Lake Tanganyika borders so many territories, all kinds of animals and marine life name this lake dwelling. Some animals are:

The waters journey outward in rivers and ultimately empty into oceans. Locals subsist on fishing, and it helps greater than 800 fisheries within the space. 

Relying on the place the border is, the surroundings adjustments barely. Some seashores are made of soppy white sand, whereas oil palms or rice fields border others.

Lake Zaysan

Oldest Lakes - Lake Zaysan
Lake Zaysan is the oldest lake on this planet, nevertheless it holds that title controversially as a result of the science just isn’t definitive.

Maxim Petrichuk/

With regards to the precise courting of Lake Zaysan, there’s plenty of debate about its exact age. It’s believed that the basin, the bowl of the lake which incorporates the water, has by no means dried. Because of this primarily based on scientific proof, it may have first shaped round 60-70 million years in the past.

The Cretaceous interval ended someday in that little hole, so it’s fairly attainable that dinosaurs did drink from the water, however there isn’t a unshakeable fact. The subsequent lake on the record is usually cited because the oldest lake is understood globally, however that’s solely as a result of it will get plenty of consideration for different causes.

This lake is present in a small hole between the Altai and Tarbagatai Mountains, positioned in Kazakstan. This lake actively holds many species of fish, together with:

This can be a pure freshwater lake identified to be frozen from November to April. Fishing is integral to the native societies and is the primary revenue for his or her communities. It prolonged round 700 miles with a depth of 49 ft and is a darkish blue-green in shade.

Attributable to a dam constructed within the Fifties, there’s a probability that Lake Zaysan is in its closing phases and headed towards turning into extinct.

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