How well do you know the Great Lakes?

Test your knowledge with this quiz.

  1. True or False: Only 1% of the water in the Great Lakes is renewed. The other 99% comes from melting glaciers, which don’t replenish.
  2. What is the record for largest sturgeon speared in Wisconsin?
    1. ~50 pounds
    2. ~100 pounds
    3. ~200 pounds
    4. ~300 pounds
  3. True or False: The Great Lakes provide drinking water for 4 million people.
  4. True or False: The Empire State Building would sink beneath the surface of Lake Superior.
  5. How many gallons of fresh water are in the watershed?
    1. 1 million
    2. 1 billion
    3. 5 billion
    4. 6 quadrillion
  6. True or False: The largest freshwater dunes in the world are on Lake Michigan’s shoreline.
  7. True or False: Lake Erie contains about half of the total Great Lakes fish.
  8. If you stretched the shorelines of all five Great Lakes, how far would they wrap around the world?
    1. 1/4
    2. 1/2
    3. The whole planet
    4. The whole planet, three times! 
  9. True or False: The volume of water contained in Lake Superior’s four sibling lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan and Erie) is enough to fill it.
  10. True or False: Lake Michigan has a stone that is both a rock and a fossil from Devonian period coral reefs – the Petoskey.
  11. True or False: Lake Michigan and Lake Huron can be considered one.
  12. Which Great Lakes plant species has a rich cultural importance to Indigenous peoples?
    1. Wild rice
    2. Musk grass
    3. Bladderworts
    4. Watermilfoil
  13. Which of the following statements about shipwrecks is not true?
    1. There is a warship from the War of 1812 in bottom of the Great Lakes.
    2. A shipwreck at the bottom of Lake Michigan contains a valuable collection of old cars.
    3. Santa went down with his vessel on his way to deliver Christmas trees.
    4. The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in U.S. waters.
  14. True or False: The towns bordering Niagara Falls share the same name.
  15. True or False: Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake entirely within U.S. territory.

Answer Key

  1. True. The glaciers were present during the Wisconsin Ice Age and measured a mile thick!
  2. C is correct – a 212.2-pound and 7-foot fish was speared in Lake Winnebago in 2012.
  3. False. The Great Lakes supply drinking water for about 30 million people in the U.S. and 10 million in Canada, totaling 40 million!
  4. True. Lake Superior is approximately 1,332 feet deep, and the top floor of the Empire State building sits at 1,250 feet tall.
  5. The answer is D. The Great Lakes contain approximately one-fifth of the world’s fresh, unfrozen surface water supply and nine-tenths of the U.S. supply.
  6. True. Sleeping Bear Dunes lie near Traverse City and were designated the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in 1970.
  7. True. Lake Erie is the shallowest, warmest and most productive lake. And, most of the Friday fish we eat from it come from the Canadian side of this Great Lake.
  8. The answer is B. The total area of the Great Lakes is more than 94,000 square miles.
  9. False. That’s still not enough water! If Lake Superior were emptied, it could cover all of North and South America in one foot of water.
  10. True. In 1965 Governor George Ramsey signed a bill making the Petoskey stone the it Michigan’s state stone.
  11. True. The two lakes are connected by the Straits of Mackinac, a channel making their water the same elevation, hydrologists consider them one!
  12. A is the correct answer. Wild rice, or manoomin, is a key aquatic species that once covered thousands of acres before settlers arrived.
  13. D is false. The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Canadian waters.
  14. True. The two towns are called Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario.
  15. True. In total, the Great Lakes system touches 8 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces but Lake Michigan is the only lake entirely in the U.S.

How’d you do? It’s time to reveal your score.

13 to 15 correct answers = You are a Great Lakes Champion
10 to 12 correct answers = You are a Great Lakes Leader
9 or fewer correct answers = You are a Great Lakes Learner

About the Great Lakes