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14 Scary Facts About The Great Lakes

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The Great Lakes have been a popular destination for families and nature lovers ever since families and nature lovers could venture out and about. Often, they are seen as the gentle, small cousins to the ocean, which offers a bounty of dangers and dismaying situations. But alas, the Great Lakes offer just as many dangers, if not more.

From tornadoes to blood-sucking fish that swim just below the surface, here is a small selection of scary facts regarding the Great Lakes.

  • 1

    They're Home To Thousands Of Shipwrecks

    The Great Lakes contain at least 6,000 shipwrecks, with some estimates going has high as 20,000.

    Due to sudden changes in the weather, the Great Lakes have become the final resting stop for thousands of ships. According to Chris Gillcrist, executive director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes, the lakes "are home to more shipwrecks per surface square mile than any other body of water in the world."

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  • 2

    They Contain Enough Water To Flood North And South America

    From Redditor u/bumblebritches57:

    There is enough water in Lake Superior to flood the entire landmasses of North and South America to a depth of one foot. It contains over 3 quadrillion gallons of fresh water.

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  • Photo: u/lylelanley- / Reddit

    Lake Ontario Can Become So Cold It Is Considered Lethal

    From The Globe And Mail:

    "When you hit that cold water you gasp and get what's called cold-water shock," Ted Rankine of the Canadian Safe Boating Council said in an interview yesterday. "You have one minute to get control of your breathing. You have 10 minutes of meaningful movement to rescue yourself. And in the coldest water you have one hour before hypothermia kicks in."

    But hypothermia is not what typically kills early-season boating victims, he warned. Many are dead long before their core temperature falls into the danger zone, their muscles rendered immobile by the cold within minutes.

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  • Photo: RAF photographer / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Lake Superior Has Produced 'Rogue Waves'

    From Redditor u/vasaryo:

    Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes, has been known to produce near-mythical “rogue waves," similar to those found at sea.

    [Editor's Note: This is from the Duluth News Tribune: "Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have confirmed the phenomenon of rogue waves on Lake Superior - waves double the size of others at the same time and which have been named as a potential cause of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."]

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