Another day, another UFO sighting. With the recent defense scare in Michigan in which armed forces shot down an unidentified object over the Great Lakes, there's been much talk of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in particular.

All this commotion and chaos got me wondering: are Lake Michigan and Lake Huron technically considered just one big lake?

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Are these two Great Lakes technically considered one? It depends on who you ask.

Lake Michigan-Huron

Hydrology is the study of water and its movement, and when you study the composition of the two Great Lakes they're nearly identical! Says the Watershed Council,

Since Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are connected by the Straits of Mackinac, they are considered one lake hydrologically.

Of these two Great Lakes in particular one expert explains, " All the other Great Lakes are connected by actual rivers that flow from a lake of higher elevation to a lake of lower elevation" but that's not the case with Lake Michigan-Huron.


Though they may technically be the same lake we Michiganders would never refer to them as such. Growing up in Mitten we were taught the H.O.M.E.S. abbreviation to remember the names of each Great Lake: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.

It's too late now to change the acronym to something different. It will throw everything off!

Google Earth
Straits of Mackinac - Google Earth

Ecologically Speaking

If you want to take it yet another step further, one could make the argument that ecologically Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are two different lakes.

Being that they are on different sides of the Straits of Mackinac, each lake has different topography meaning the life forms that inhabit the "deep or off-shore waters would generally be confined to one or the other of the deep, wide basins that form the two lakes."

So different animals live on different sides. Fascinating!

Do you consider Lake Michigan-Huron to be one lake or two?

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