Growing up in Florida, we studied Florida history in 4th grade and I learned a lot about the Everglades and ecosystems native to the South East. I believe we had to memorize the names of the Great Lakes at one point, but I never remember studying them. The closest I had been was to Niagara Falls with my Mother my freshman year of college.
Our neighbors told us of the Great Lakes Museum in Toledo, Ohio and that there was a container ship we were able to go on. Enough said, I was sold.
As a family, we have done VERY little venturing out and visiting with ANYONE since COVID began. We are still under the belief that we have to do our part to limit our exposure to anything that may possibly be out there. Better safe than sorry. So, us going to this museum was a very big change of pace for us. The museum has it set up that you have to purchase tickets in advance and only 36 are sold each hour. Ohio is a 100% mask mandatory state. Inside the museum, you are given your own stylus so that you can still participate in all of the hands on computer and interactive activities. There is also a downloadable app for a self guided tour through the giant ship outside.
If you’d like to take a tour yourself of the Col James M. Schoonmaker, you can do so by clicking this link.
First off, let me tell you, if you don’t know about the Great Lakes, it may be worth reading up on. Here are a few incredible and impressive facts.
- 21% of the world’s surface freshwater is present in Lakes. The Lakes hold nearly 22808290948810.85 cubic meters or 6 quadrillion U.S. gallons or 6,02,53,12,97,69,43,847 US gallons. If you are wondering how much water is this, then it can equally cover all the 48 contiguous states of the USA with a depth of 2.9 meters.
- The coastline measures up to 10,500 miles. Which is approximately the distance from Toledo, Ohio to Perth, Australia.
- The Great Lakes were formed when the last glacial period ended and erosion occurred. Underwater volcanoes erupt water and slush, still today this is what is part of the Lake Effect.
- The Lake Effect is actually very dangerous. It is caused from many factors including, the Dry and Cold Arctic System; The Warm and Wet Tropical system from the South and the Gulf of Mexico; and the Mild Pacific Air Masses from the West.
- There have been more than 6000 ship wrecks in The Great Lakes, including a very large number of transport ships and 30,000 lives.
- Lake Erie is only 210 feet deep at its deepest spot and averages only 62 feet between the US and Canada. The deepest lake being Lake Superior which averages 483 ft but at its deepest is 1300 ft.
Although we have only made it to one of The Great Lakes, we are definitely digging in deeper to learn more.