Difference Between Sea And Lake

It is no longer news that over seventy percent of the earth surface is covered by water. These water bodies come in different shapes and sizes, and can be seen all over the world. To make it easier to identify, this element was classified into four – surface, waste, ground, and stormwater.

For this sake of this post, we would focus on surface water, specifically the difference between lake and sea. The latter is a large expanse of water body surrounded by land, while the former is a much larger expanse of water surrounding different land masses. As important as these definitions may be, there are still a lot more to these bodies that we would share with you.

Definition of sea

Sea is defined as a salty water body that is partly surrounded by land. It could anywhere between moderate to large in size with the smallest measuring about 6.1 million square miles, which is larger than the United States; and the largest measuring over 64 million square miles.

There are special features that make this form stand out. First, it is salty, which is why it is called salty water in the first place. Also, it contains gases and other dissolved substances and particles of elements like gold, iron, copper, calcium, silver, and so on.

These impurities form the basis of the reason why it is not advisable to drink water from the sea. According to health experts, the salt in it is too much for the body, and the kidney can only make urine that is less salty than sea water. So, you would have to drink fresh water to help dilute the sea water, or you would be dehydrated.

Definition of lake

A lake is simply defined as fresh water surrounded by land. They are not as large as the seas, the smallest, Lake Ontario, measures about 7,340 square miles / 18,960 square km, and the largest measure over 230 thousand square miles, which is the Caspian. Interestingly, many people refer to the Caspian as an ocean because it is humongous, but considering certain features, it is nothing but a really large lake.

The most interesting feature that shows the difference between sea and lake is that the former contains some salt while the latter does not. Since it does not contain salt, this water body provides a nice ecosystem for fish, wildlife, and other aqua creatures. It also serves as a recreational spot for people, and can even be a tourist site.

According to history, lakes tend to get old with time. Since it is exposed to the atmosphere, it would collect some deposits over time, causing them t become shallower. However, the aging process can take as long as thousands of years before it starts showing signs of aging. If there is a heavy human influence, it may take less than that, but whatever be the case, it does not get shallow overnight under normal circumstances.


In conclusion, the lake vs sea comparison shows some differences in their size, existence, geological scale, and lots more. While these two may be a little confusing and hard to tell apart, knowing these differences will help you differentiate them.

The most common difference among these two can be seen in which of them contain or does not contain salt. The type of creatures that live in them also helps to tell them apart. 

07 July 2022
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