Great Lakes art

How Were the Great Lakes Named?

Great Lakes art

The Great Lakes are five freshwater lakes located in the central-eastern part of North America. Most people know this, but few also know the origin of their names.

Lake Superior

Its name is merely a reflection of its huge size - 82,100 square km and 12,100 cubic km, but probably also of its position, north of Lake Huron (“lac supérieur” in French means “upper lake”).

Lake Michigan

Its name comes from the Ojibwa Indian “mishigami”, which means "large lake." Lake Michigan is actually only the third largest of the Great Lakes, but its size is still impressive and it also has an unusual water flow.

Lake Huron

Lake Huron shares the same body of water with Lake Michigan and is the second largest (59,600 square km) of the Great Lakes. It was named after the Hurons (Wyandot Indians) who lived there.

Lake Ontario

In the language of Wyandot Indians, “Ontario” means "lake of shining water". Located at the base of Niagara Falls, Lake Ontario is the smallest of the five lakes (only 18,960 square km), but it is deep and holds about 1,600 cubic km.

Lake Erie

Its name comes from “erielhonan”, which in the Iroquoian language means "long tail". It has to do with the lake`s shape. Although it is slightly larger than Lake Ontario, it has the smallest water volume of the Great Lakes (only 484 cubic km).

Look for beautiful Great Lakes art created by Cap’n Jim Clary at Cap’n Jim’s Gallery in St. Clair, Michigan.



Learn About Geography the Fun Way: Great Lakes Trivia You’ve Never Even Heard

Geography is one of the most beautiful subjects on earth, and it definitely doesn’t have to be boring if you know how to look at facts and how to find unique facts about common geographical places like the Great Lakes. The following trivia facts about the Great Lakes will make you wonder whether you should rewrite your children’s geography textbooks yourself: 

·       Driving around the lakes would take an enormous amount of time to complete. If you’re looking for a fun and extremely long road trip, then this is it. Going around the Great Lakes by car will provide you with an impressive 6,500 miles of fun on the road.

·       An unlikely fire that started in 1969 on the Cuyahoga River was actually the catalyzing trigger that spawned a new movement towards clearing up the waterway responsible for feeding Lake Erie and starting a series of environmental reforms that have transformed the way we look at the Great Lakes today.

·       Do you know how many islands the Great Lakes contain? The actual number is even higher than 35,000. The biggest of them is Manitoulin in Lake Huron, which is considered to this day to be the largest freshwater island in the world, measuring 1,068 square miles.

Find wonderful Great Lakes art at interesting galleries found throughout the Great Lakes area.

Great Lakes art

Fun Facts about the Great Lakes


The Great Lakes at the border between USA and Canada are five in number. From west to east, they are: Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. They were formed approximately 12,000 years ago when glaciers started to melt. 

These lakes hold a huge proportion of the total surface freshwater of the North American continent – 84%. And each of them has its specific particularities. Let us discover the most unexpected and fun facts about the Great Lakes. 

1. Lake Superior Does Not Behave Like a Lake

It is more like an inland sea, because it has tides. It also holds enough water (3,000,000 million gallons) to cover both North and South America with 1 foot of fresh water.  

2. Lake Erie Allegedly Harbors a Monster

The monster named Bessie was described as having between 30 and 40 feet in length. It was first sighted in 1973. Alas, only inconclusive and grainy photos exist of it, making Bessie as elusive as the more famous Nessie monster of Loch Ness. 

3. Lake Huron Hides a Few Secrets

One of them is a complex of animal-herding structures which are approximately 9,000 years old. Prehistoric humans used to inhabit the area of the lake before the glaciers melted. 

Lake Huron also has massive sinkholes with a combination of chemical and organic substances that replicate ocean conditions of 3 million years ago.

Maritime History in Art is the place to go for paintings by artist Jim Clary depicting the Great Lakes, famous shipwrecks, and other beautiful pieces of nautical art.

Famous Shipwrecks You Might Not Have Heard Of

Whether you are a diving enthusiast, trying to figure the next wreck to explore or you are a history buff, looking for the next seaside destination with some special wrecks to visit, or have a special interest in Great Lakes art, here are some famous wrecks that might not be so widely advertised as others, but are not less exciting either:

-        The MS World Discoverer at Solomon Islands – the Danish cruise ship hit a rock in 2000. The passengers and the crew were rescued, but the ship is still in the warm, crystal waters of Roderick Bay;

-        The Queen Anne’s Revenge – the 18th century warship was the property of Blackbeard, who grounded the ship in 1718 and abandoned it after having used it only for a year. The wreck is located at the shore of North Carolina, at Atlantic Beach and it is included in the list of heritage places as well;

-        The Yongala – the wreck at the shores of Australia is considered to be among the world’s best diving sites, with frequent sightings of manta rays, sharks, colorful corals, turtles, octopuses and sea snakes;

-        The Zenobia at Cyprus – the ferry sunk in 1979 and now she is laying on her side in Lanarka. Fortunately, nobody was killed in the accident.