Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Sea and Lake

Sea Vs Lake

Almost anybody knows the difference between a lake and a sea. However, when asked about the true nature of other seas like the Caspian Sea, people will already have second thoughts. Yes, the confusion sets in when identifying some bodies of water which are called seas but are actually lakes. An example of which is the very popular Dead Sea which happens to be the lowest level lake in the world, not to mention one of the saltiest there is. So how come the Dead Sea is a lake and not a sea?

First, a lake is an inland water body. This means that it is surrounded by land. The body of water is usually moderate to big in size with the water surface being exposed towards the atmosphere. Thus, most lakes in the world have a surface area of below 100 sq. mi. although there are dozens of other lakes that even spans to more than 1,500 sq. mi. in area. With regard to depth, the majority of lakes are shallower than the seas.

As mentioned, the confusion sets in because there are some lakes that are named as seas. Aside from the Dead Sea, the Caspian Sea is another lake that is called sea. It is treated by many as a sea because of its size. This lake is so huge that from whatever angle you’ll try to look at, it would seem as if you’re looking at a long stretch of shore. This is because the Caspian Sea is the biggest or largest lake in the world. It is bordered by several countries including Iran and Southern Russia. Another lake that is called a sea is the Aral Sea.

On the contrary, seas are different from lakes because they are not enclosed by land. They have a relatively bigger volume of water and are usually connected to the wide open ocean. Seas are undoubtedly deeper as compared to lakes. It is a continuous stretch of salt water. There’s an exemption to this definition however because a sea can also be a landlocked (like a lake) immense body of saline (salty) water which doesn’t have an outlet towards an ocean. This definition can best be applied to the case of the Caspian Sea.

Overall:

1.

Lakes are shallower than the seas
2.

Lakes are enclosed by a body of land.
3.

With regard to the volume of water, lakes can be small, moderate to big in size whereas seas are often always a lot bigger in size.
4.

Lakes can either be salt water or fresh water while seas are always salt water in nature.


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1 Comment

  1. I don’t believe that this is completely accurate. The difference between a sea and a lake is also political. A lake’s waters can only be legally navigated by the countries that claim it whereas if the body of water is claimed to be a sea, any foreign vessel has the right to navigate freely. A treaty between the Soviet Union and Iran in 1967 (yr. ?) claims that the Caspian Sea is a lake.

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