12 Largest Saltwater Lakes in the World

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The Earth is mostly water, but can you name the 12 largest saltwater lakes in the world?

About 71% of the Earth is water, and there are various body types that makeup all that water. Saltwater lakes differ from regular lakes in terms of their dissolved salts and mineral content. A rule of thumb to differentiate salt water or saline lakes from others is that generally, you will find over three grams of salt per liter of water in a saline lake. Experts believe there are around 2 million lakes in the world, and even though the majority are freshwater lakes, there are still plenty with saltwater. The Great Salt Lake in Utah and Walker Lake in Nevada are just a couple examples of saltwater lakes in the United States. The list of salt lakes in the USA, however, is pretty short. So, our list of salt lakes will focus on saltwater lakes in the world based on their size. Naturally, some of the lakes on our list would also be great contenders for the title of “most salty lake in the world” because their saline levels are all that high. If you would rather explore some freshwater lakes, take a look at our list largest freshwater lakes in the world by volume.

Saltwater lakes do not discriminate when it comes to location and they can be found all around the world, in all kinds of climates. Many people are interested in the bodies of water in India, and if you are one of those people, check out the largest freshwater lakes in India. When it comes to saltwater though, the largest saltwater lake in India is also the largest saltwater lake in Asia and that is Chilika Lake. Chilika Lake is located on the eastern side of the country, not too far from the Bay of Bengal. The lake is known for the many varieties of birds who call it home, and it has become a popular tourist destination.

12 Largest Saltwater Lakes In The World


Now that we have the salt water lakes defined and have given you some background, we need to come up with a metric in order to determine how big they are. Well, there are quite a few routes we could take. We could measure them by volume, by their depth or by the land area they cover. For the purposes of this article about the largest saltwater lakes in the world, we have decided to go with the area they cover, meaning we will only talk about saltwater lakes that are largest in terms of surface area, and not depth or volume.

Thankfully, there are many websites and scientists out there that have already done the hard work of measuring the lakes of the world. For our purposes, we merely had to identify the salt water lakes from those lists, and then rank them in accordance with the surface area they cover. We sought help from websites like Vaughns (a general knowledge website), the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and World Lakes. Of course, we put Google through its paces to obtain more information as well. The raking was pretty straightforward, the more area a lake covers, the higher it has been placed on the list.

Let’s dive right into our list of 12 largest saltwater lakes in the world.

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