Great Lakes Trivia Quiz

The days are long and hot, amplifying our appreciation for our deep and (mostly) clear lakes. Let’s celebrate Michigan’s special place on the planet—in the cradle of the greatest freshwater system on Earth—by testing your knowledge of the Great Lakes and Michigan’s water resources.

1. What is the deepest point in the Great Lakes?
a. 1,332 ft. in Lake Superior
b. 802 ft. in Lake Ontario
c. 925 ft. in Lake Michigan
d. 1,895 ft. in Lake Superior 

2. The Great Lakes contain what percentage of Earth’s fresh surface water?
a. 2 percent 
b. 10 percent 
c. 18 percent
d. 32 percent 

3. Laid end to end, approximately how many times could Michigan’s streams wrap around the Earth?
a. None
b. 1.5 
c. 4 
d. You’ll have a fight if you try and take our water. 

4. Retention time is the length of time one water molecule spends in any given hydrologic basin. Although lakes Michigan and Huron are considered hydrologically the same, Lake Michigan’s retention time is almost 100 years greater than that of Lake Huron. Why?
a. The main entry and exit point for water flowing through Lake Michigan is the same (the Straits of Mackinac), slowing the circulation of water and lengthening retention time. 
b. Lake Michigan water is colder and denser than water in Lake Huron, causing Lake Michigan water to circulate more slowly and have a longer retention time. 
c. Lake Michigan is deeper and has a greater volume than Lake Huron. 
d. Lake Michigan is more fun and the water does not want to leave. 

5. Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline in the U.S. How long is it?
a. 6,640 miles
b. 3,288 miles
c. 4,444 miles 
d. 2 million miles 

6. Michigan is home to the only place in the world with a floating what?
a. Lighthouse
b. Coney Island restaurant
c. Railroad
d. Post office 

7. A person in Michigan is never more than how far from a natural water source?
a. 5 miles
b. 6 miles
c. 60 miles
d. The faucet 

8. If completely emptied, how much land could Lake Superior cover in one foot of water?
a. The Great Plains 
b. The entire United States 
c. The entire state of Alaska 
d. All of North and South America 

9. Of the 83 counties in Michigan, how many touch at least one Great Lake?
a. 19 
b. 100 
c. 40 
d. 58 

10. Several names are shared by different rivers in Michigan; for example, there are eight Pine Rivers and seven ____ Rivers:
a. Black
b. White
c. Detroit
d. Mississippi 

Answers: 1: a, 2: c, 3: b (and we’ll accept d), 4: a, 5: b, 6: d, 7: b, 8: d, 9: c, 10: a.

-Compiled by MEC interns Michael Kulick, Katelyn Schram,
Tyler Rafferty, Brett Kruse and Julie Riggio.

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