21% of the world surface freshwater is contained in these lakes
The S.S Edmund Fitzerald sank into the dark waters of Lake Superior on November 10, 1975 and was the largest ship to ever have sunk there. No distress signals were sent before she sank, and no bodies were ever recovered.
Sea Lampreys have invaded the the Great Lakes. Crews trapped 9,748 Lamprey this year alone. Three times last years catch.
There are 35,000 islands on the Great Lakes. The largest is Mackinac Island, it’s the largest lake island in the world. Mackinac Island is also a National Historic Landmark and is famous for its Victorian Grand Hotel and its ban on motor vehicles.
The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 killed more than 250 people, destroyed 19 ships and stranded 19 others.
The most prestigious and oldest freshwater sailing race in the world takes place on the Great Lakes each July; The Chicago to Mackinac Boat Race. Sailors who complete 25 of these races receive the dubious distinction of being dubbed and “Island Goat.”
Because the waters of the Great Lakes are so cold, most ship wrecks have been almost perfectly preserved, including some of the people.
The upper peninsula of Lake Superior has seen over 300 shipwrecks, earning it the name, “Shipwreck Coast.”
The Great Lakes Diving Company (which has since disappeared,) claimed to have found the famous Kinroes F-89 Scorpion Jet Fighter that disappeared over Lake Superior on November 23, 1953. Next to the fighter jet, they found a UFO.
Lake Erie has its own monster, Bessie. The first sighting was in 1973. She is reportedly snake like and 30-40 feet long. Great Lakes Brewing Company offers an imperial pale ale honoring Bessie. So while you’re ruminating over all of your new found knowledge , crack open a cold one.