According to calculations made by an international team of scientists there are 307 million lakes in the world. That number includes all natural lakes, but not human-made lakes such as reservoirs formed by dams. Most lakes on earth are small, with nine out of ten lakes covering less than one hectare (2.5 acres).

The world’s largest lake is the Caspian Sea, which extends over 378,119 square kilometres (145,993 square miles), an area about the size of the American state of Montana or Germany. No other lake is larger than 100,000 square kilometres in area.

The 1943 French stamp shown above features a mountain lake in France, Lac Lérié and the magnificent Meije glacier. The stamp was designed and engraved by Pierre Gandon after a photo taken by Paul Almásy. The lake is situated 2,450 metres above sea level on a plateau in the department of Hautes-Alpes.

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