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Ranking of the World's Largest Lakes
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Ranking of the World's Largest Lakes »

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A lake is a body of fresh or salt water that is not in contact with the sea. It is possible to deduce a lake's origin if you observe its outline. Very deep lakes arise from tectonic movements that occur with the sinking of Earth's crust; round lakes with steep banks may have been formed by the collapse of a volcano's crater; elongated lakes may be the remains of glacier valleys; and lastly lakes that are shaped like a half moon are usually the result of a river's change in course. None of these freshwater bodies however, are permanent. This ranking classifies the world's largest lakes according to their area.

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