The North American Great Lakes: Lake Superior,Michigan,Huron,Erie and Ontario as seen from satellite.Together they hold almost 20 percent of the world's fresh surface water. Planet Observer/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

没有像H.O.M.E.S.如果你没有得到推荐信,that's the首字母缩略词有些人帮助他们记住北美五大湖的名字:休伦湖,安大略,Michigan,Erie and Superior.(尽管从技术上讲,Huron and Michigan arethe same lake.) Together,这些巨大的水体在无数的战线上丰富了我们的世界;here are five reasons why everybody should love them.

5: They Contain Much of the World's Fresh Water

从技术上讲,五大湖拥有世界五分之一的淡水。水太多了,especially when,,one in five people世界各地没有可靠的安全饮用水。It's a badly-needed resource.地球上97%的水咸水.And most of the globe's freshwater supply is either frozen in glaciers or buried underground.One reason why the Great Lakes are so important is they harbor20 percent地球表面的所有液态水。All the more reason to keep them pollution-free.

Exactly how much water are we talking about here?Put together,the five Great Lakes have6千万加仑of it.For metric system fans,that's 22.7 quadrillion liters.用这个量的水,一个有抱负的超级恶棍可以在10英尺(3米)的积水中覆盖邻近的美国。

4: 150 Fish Species Are Native to the Region

The Great Lakes were born when冰川receded from this part of the world at the end of the last ice age.As the icy bulldozers went northward,他们在地上凿出深槽,后来被水填满。Paleontologists think that the Great Lakes'本地鱼类从哈德逊湾和密西西比河上游的排水沟迁移到该地区。这些本地鱼,没有人能比得上湖里的鲟鱼。size.Adultsturgeoncan be more than 7 feet (2.13 meters) long and weigh 240 pounds (108 kilograms).其他知名物种include穆斯卡伦奇,rock bass and northern pike.

但并非所有的鱼都是本地人。Several game species like Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout were故意介绍.Other exotic fish,such as the sea lampreys,just偷偷进去.Either way,some of these newcomers are killing or out-competing the native species — which is ahuge problem.

3: Migratory Birds Use the Lakes as Waystations

不喜欢钓鱼?Try birdwatching.Millions of hawks,鹅和其他鸟一年吃两次pit stopsin the Great Lakes basin every year as part of their migration cycles.湿地,这里的森林和岛屿是flyers to restand feed before moving on.然后一些飞到北极圈以北或阿根廷以南。他们的访问对大湖地区的城镇来说是一种恩惠。在Ohio alone,more than 68,000 birdwatching tourists drop by each spring to see the winged travelers arrive.流入每年为七叶树州的经济创造4000万美元。

2: The Microclimate Is Ideal for Wineries

Water and land have different relationships with heat.By comparison,水需要更长的时间热身和降温。On the shores of a large lake,this fact is readily apparent.When springtime comes,the lake's temperature will rise more slowly than the land that surrounds it.As a result,air around the coastline tends to be cooler than inland air every spring.You'd think this would hurt farmers who live by the shoreline,但它实际上可以帮助他们。The chillier temperatures cause fruit trees to blossom later in the season.As a result,苹果,桃子和其他水果不太可能被突然杀死frosts.

北方吃不好的水果可以thriveby the Great Lakes.因此,the region has a huge fruit-growing industry.天气的一个好副产品是丰富的酿酒厂around Lakes Michigan,Erie and Ontario.这些地区的小气候和肥沃的土壤使它们非常适合葡萄栽培.这就是为什么安大略省的葡萄酒产量超过加拿大其他任何一个省的部分原因。

1: They Preserve Shipwrecks Really Well

几乎每一种类型的船或船,你可以想象-从木独木舟到mine-laying submarines— has deployed on the Great Lakes at some point in time.And this is to say nothing of the naval battles that broke out here during theWar of 1812.So it's not surprising that the lakes contain an estimated8,000年沉船,定期发现新的。

Quantity is nice,but so is quality.这些船只中的许多几乎保存完好。The Great Lakes contain cold,fresh water.That allows shipwrecks to last longer than they would in the ocean.In saltwater,铁基金属corrodes更迅速。Also,海洋是吃木船残骸的海虫的家园。Finally,there's coral,它们在温暖的水中繁衍生息,并能在水下的船只上结壳。

Conditions in the Great Lakes make it a lot easier for archaeologists to studyshipwreck地点。也有严格的anti-looting lawswhich help prevent the artifacts on these ships from being stolen.然而,也就是说,对沉船还有一个很大的威胁:入侵的斑马贻贝。It's thought that when the mollusks latch on to boat hulls,they end up破坏性的wooden and metallic wrecks alike.The situation has historiansscramblingto document important ships before too much harm befalls them.

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