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

Dec 30, 2016 1 comments

Lake Taal on the island of Luzon, in the northern end of the Philippines archipelago, holds a special distinction. It’s one of only two lakes in the world, as of now, to have a third order island within it —the lake itself being part of the order. In other words, Lake Taal, which is located within the island of Luzon, has an island (Volcano Island) that has a lake (Crater Lake) that contains its own small island called Vulcan Point.

Volcano Island is the location of Taal Volcano's historical eruptions and is responsible for the lake's sulfuric content. The crater at the top of the Volcano Island is now filled with water giving rise to Crater Lake. Vulcan Point is a small bump on Crater Lake.


A photograph taken from the International Space Station shows Taal Lake with Volcano Island containing Crater Lake. The island Vulcan Point is barely visible. Photo credit: NASA Johnson/Flickr

As unusual as this may sound, Vulcan Point isn’t the only island within a lake in an island within a lake in an island. There is a another and much bigger four-acre unnamed island in Canada that sit within a small lake, also unnamed, which is itself surrounded by a slightly larger island. That island, in turn, is nestled within a series of long finger lakes located about 90 kilometers inland from the southern coast of Victoria Island. Those who wish to see it on Google Maps can set their coordinates to 69.793° N, 108.241° W. Or better yet, click here, and zoom through the sequence of lakes and islands.

The nameless island was discovered in 2012 after countless hours of pouring over Google Earth’s imagery by Ken Jennings, a name you might be familiar with. He holds the record for the longest winning streak in the history of the game show Jeopardy!, in which he won 74 games in a row and made $2.5 million from it.

There are possibly many more yet-to-discovered third-order islands within Canada, a country littered with some 3 million lakes, many of which has islands within them. In fact, Canada holds several records related to islands and recursive islands within lakes. It is home to the world’s largest lake on an island (Nettilling Lake on Baffin Island), the largest island on a lake (Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron), the largest lake on an island in a lake (Lake Manitou on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron), and the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake (Treasure Island in Mindemoya Lake on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron.)


Satellite image of Nunavut Territory, Canada, showing the position of the largest third-order island.


Satellite image of Nunavut Territory, Canada, showing the position of the largest third-order island.


Volcano Island within Taal Lake. Photo credit: Storm Crypt/Flickr


The tiny rock in the center of the image is Vulcan Point. Photo credit: Stefan Krasowski/Flickr


Crater Lake on Volcano Island on Taal Lake. Vulcan Point is visible on the right. Photo credit: Joanneq Escobar/Flickr


Vulcan Point. Photo credit: Roberto Verzo/Flickr

Sources: Wikipedia / Live Science / NASA


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