(Sung to the tune of There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea) Ohhhhhh… there’s an island in a lake…on an island in a lake…on an island in a lake in the north! Turns out that Canada is home to the only known location of the most recursive island in the world. Say hello to Yathkyed Lake, Nunavut.
As the name suggests, a ‘recursive’ island or lake is like a nesting doll of nature. These funny little geographic anomalies kick off simply, starting with the classic ‘island in a lake’. These aren’t particularly hard to find, and we’ll point to one of Canada’s most famous examples- Spirit Island, located in Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park.
View this post on Instagram
However, things get a lot funnier (and rarer) the further down you go. What’s more, Canada is home to a fair number of increasingly recursive lakes, thanks to our massive freshwater reservoirs and the relatively untouched northern parts of the country. Finland is also right up there, and the US (thanks to the Great Lakes) also gets to boast a few islands in lakes on islands in lakes.
But, skipping a step and getting to the heart of the nesting doll analogy, there is only one (discovered) island in a lake on an island in a lake on island in a lake. And, that is located in one of the most remote parts of Canada- Yathkyed Lake, which is north of the Manitoba border and right in the heart of Nunavut. Ironically, the lake is just south of the geographical centre of Canada, if you find the mid-point of the East-West and North-South extremities of the country. Shoutout to Baker Lake, which is literally the only inland community in Nunavut.
Unfortunately, knowing that the world’s most recursive lake exists in Canada is about as far as you can get. Notwithstanding the incredibly difficult terrain and lack of infrastructure, Yathkyed Lake appears to be owned by a Canadian mining company, so it’s not even open to the public. Maybe you can get a bush pilot or someone to fly you out there, but it would be a custom trip- even getting to the Kazan River, which is the most ‘touristy’ part of the region, requires a chartered flight and about four to six weeks worth of canoe/boat travel.
So, while we can’t endorse this as your next travel destination, it is cool to know that Canada is home to the world’s most recursive lake. Now, pull up this fact during your next dinner party and astound your guests with your knowledge of Canadian geography!