The Largest Island in a Lake on an Island in a Lake on an Island

The use of Google Earth leads to a lot of random knowledge. It’s also made exploration of the planet an indoor activity. Guinness World Records certified an unnamed island in an unnamed lake on an unnamed island on an unnamed lake on Victoria Island in Canada to be the largest of its kind. This is not to be confused with the largest lake on an island on a lake on an island on a lake. Or Netflix’s show The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window.

There is, of course, a list of islands on lakes on islands on lakes. There is room for debate though, as it includes explanations of why they may or may not count. For example, some islands exist only because people dug a channel. And some lakes only exist because people built dams.

Google Earth view of the island on a lake in northern Canada
Google Earth

We found out about this dizzying locale thanks to Atlas Obscura. The term recursive island means an island on an island. There are also recursive lakes, meaning a lake on a lake. Then there are orders of magnitude. Lakes on lakes on lakes. Or in this case, an island on an island on an island.

People discovered many of the recursive islands and lakes using satellite images. And it’s likely that no human has ever set foot on this particular island, or many others in the hard to reach maze of Canada’s Arctic.

Google Earth view of northern Canada, showing a zoomed out view of the island on a lake
Google Earth

Google Earth is constantly updating. Some images are covered by clouds and could hold secrets. Mapping technology of both land and the ocean continue to improve. If you feel like going on an adventure but don’t want to leave your house, there’s certainly more to discover on Google Earth. The time-lapse feature is also an amazing way to understand the effects of climate change.

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth. 

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