The Great Lakes are famous for their shipwrecks, to the point that songs are even written about some of them. Some of the lakes are most famous for the preservation of the wrecks. Others are more known for the strange nature of the wrecks.

But I can almost guarantee you, that if asked, "which Great Lake has the MOST shipwrecks" right now, with no cheating... you'd get it wrong, and it might not even be your second guess.

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More than 6,000 ships have wrecked across the entire Great Lakes network... at least, since we've been able to accurately document them (mostly). And some of those wrecks have become quite famous in their own right.

But while many of the most famous wrecks have happened in the larger Lakes, it's actually one of the smaller ones that has proven to be the most detrimental to ships. Believe it or not, Lake Erie is possibly the most dangerous for ships to sail through.

How Is Lake Erie The Most Dangerous for Ships?

According to Earth Observatory, which is a science and weather news site run by NASA, Lake Erie is practically a ship graveyard, and one of the most dangerous for ships and boats.

Kevin Magee is an engineer with NASA at the Glenn Research Center, and a co-founder of CLUE (Cleveland Underwater Explorers), which searches for shipwrecks in Lake Erie. Magee says the volatile nature of the Lake is what makes it so dangerous. He described some conditions as being "Calm as a Pond" one moment, but within minutes, you'll face huge vertical waves.

"The shallowness of the lake actually makes the waves worse... Storms and waves are probably the number one reason ships sank in Lake Erie."

And according to his research, there are a LOT of ships that have sunk in the shallowest Great Lake. He even estimated that Lake Erie has a greater density of shipwrecks than anywhere else in the world. Even the Bermuda Triangle has fewer wrecks, in terms of density.

Lake Erie Shipwrecks

How Many Shipwrecks Have Happened in Lake Erie?

Unfortunately, poor record keeping can't give an exact number of shipwrecks that have occurred in Lake Erie. So far, more than 500 have been found. But when you consider, more than 6,000 ships have wrecked in the Lake system, and you consider how many have been in the other Lakes...

...that still leaves more than 3,600 shipwrecks still unaccounted for across the entire Great Lake System. Magee estimates the number of wrecks in Lake Erie could actually be somewhere around 2,000 in total.

So strangely enough, the Great Lake that "Never Gives Up Her Dead," is actually one of the safest Great Lakes to sail on. So when you're out on Lake Erie, make sure you've got all hands on deck!

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