I have to admit that I was a little surprised to learn this, but I have confirmed it is true. One of America's top 3 "cleanest" lakes is in Illinois. Sort of.

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The website A-Z Animals just shared their new 2023 version of what they consider to be the "Top 10 Cleanest Lakes in America". Sure enough, one of the top 3 is in Illinois. Or, actually I could more accurately say "touching" Illinois. It's none other than Lake Michigan.

So what makes a lake "clean"?

The obvious answer would be lake of pollution or the distance you can see underwater, but the methodology about how they determined Lake Michigan is so "clean" is unclear. Isn't that ironic?

I will say that the rest of the top 10 cleanest US lakes makes sense. Crater Lake in Oregon is crystal-clear and sits high up in an old volcanic dome. Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho is also spectacular.

If you watch the underwater footage of Lake Michigan, it really is clear considering how much industry borders the Great Lakes. I'm not saying the list is wrong. I'd just like a little more information about how they came to their conclusion.

Perhaps I'm overthinking this. Lake Michigan being considered one of the cleanest lakes in America is a very positive thing. It is certainly one of the beautiful sights that helps make Chicago iconic. The fact that it's got a "clean" reputation is a good thing. Allegedly.

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