Differences between the different bodies of water in the World

water bodies

There are different types of water around the world that makes up the bodies of water. Water makes up about 71 per cent of the earth surface. No wonder water is one of the most important natural resources on earth. Just in case you are wondering what I mean by water body. Water bodies refer to the aqua system that supplies us with water and fills more than two-third of the universe. There are different types of water bodies that make up our aqua system.

No wonder it is one of the most abundant natural resources. Water is one of the few substances that can exist in the Solid (ice, snow), liquid (water), gaseous (steam) state.

Bodies of Water

A body of water or waterbody is an accumulation of water that could either be natural or artificial. Other meaning of a water body could be any place on earth with a significant collection of water. A body of water is a collection of water. It could exist in different forms. These are the bodies of water that make up our ecosystem.

Major bodies of water / Types of bodies of water

These are some of the major bodies of water around the world.
All over the world, there are different bodies of water. Some of these water bodies are stationary, some are moving water while others collect and hold water.
There are several bodies of water which can be found at the different surface of the earth. These different water bodies make up our aqua ecosystem.


A cove is a body of water surrounded by land. A cove is similar to a bay, the difference is it is smaller than a bay. Also, it usually has a very narrow entrance. The entire cove is circular or oval.


Ponds are smaller than lakes. Just like lakes, ponds are also a body of water surrounded by land. A Pond is filled with fresh water which can either be natural or artificial. A Pond may either be made up of freshwater or saltwater. They are often static water. They are shallow water. Even though pond and lakes have similarities, they are can be distinguished by their sizes.

ponds water body


Lake is mostly a body of fresh water surrounded by land. The only difference between a lake and a pond is that lakes are bigger in sizes than ponds. Lakes are a static form of water that does not flow. In some cases, the only flow of water is a river that flows into the lake. Natural lakes exist in some areas while some are also artificially built. They are used as a reservoir for agricultural and industrial use. Lakes are also used for aesthetics and recreational use in estates and parks.

Lakes bodies of water


Streams are water in motion, however, they are smaller compared to a river. A Stream is generally shallow compared to rivers. A stream is a small and narrow river that flows through a plain.

Streams bodies of water


Rivers on the other hand are a mighty body of moving water. It is natural flowing water that either flows into a lake, ocean, other rivers, the sea or a dead end. Rivers are always flowing and moving water. Sometimes they can be small as a lake or large as a sea. Though rivers and streams are popular within human settlements. They only make less than 1% of the landmass.


It has been scientifically proven that rivers and steams only make about 0.1 per cent of the entire world. Rivers are made up of fresh water. This is the major reason why most human settlements are built around rivers. Rivers serve as a source of water both for industrial and household use.


Glaciers are water in the solid-state. They are frozen water which are thousands or million years old and they make up ten per cent of the earth’s surface. A glacial is a huge collection of a frozen river that moves slowly due to its frozen state.


The ocean is the largest body of water which makes up the majority of the water body on earth. Most of the other water bodies usually find their ways into the ocean. This is the mother of all the water bodies. It makes a huge percentage of the earth. It is the largest, the biggest and it connects the different major part of the earth. Many people usually use the ocean and sea interchangeably, however they are different. The sea is a body of water partly or fully enclosed by the land.


The ocean is one of the major bodies of water connecting the whole world. The ocean covers about 71 per cent of the earth and it makes up about 97 per cent of the water on earth. The Ocean comes in different forms and there are 5 oceans on the surface of the earth.
Indian Ocean
Southern Ocean
Arctic Ocean


A lagoon is a body of water separated from a larger body of water by either a narrow island, reefs, a natural barrier or a peninsula. Lagoon sometimes can be confused with a river.


The seas are part of the ocean in the general sense, they are not different from the ocean. They are part of the ocean closest to the land.
There is no difference between seas and oceans. Sea is the part of the ocean that is surrounded by land. They are often not as large or as deep as the ocean. They are great
Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea, South China Sea, etc.


Bay is a collection of water with land surrounding on three sides. A bay usually surrounded by large land forming a curve or a c shape. It however stretches into a larger body of water.


This is an artificial waterway that flows into lakes, rivers or seas.


Delta is the point where a river flows into a sea, ocean etc


This is attributed to a narrow stream much smaller than a river, it is also flowing. It is Smaller than a stream.


An estuary is a place where a stream or a river joins the ocean. The formation of the freshwater and the saltwater forms brackish water which is less salty compared to ocean water.


Spring is the point where water moves vertically from underground and finds a surface on land. Springwater travels through a network of underground cracks up to the surface. Spring is a point where water moves from a layer of underground rocks to land.

Small bodies of water

Water bodies exist in different forms and sizes. These are the small bodies of water.

  • Ponds
  • Lakes
  • Streams
  • Springs
  • Bay
  • Lagoon

List of Large bodies of water

Here are some large bodies of water

Difference between Oceans and Seas

To a lot of people, there is no difference between the ocean and the sea. Therefore, they use the terms interchangeably, but geographically, there the sea and the ocean are different. It can be confusing as they are jointly related.

  • Seas are smaller than the ocean
  • Seas are usually located in an area where the ocean and land meets
  • Oceans are larger and deeper than seas
  • The sea is more habitable for wildlife than the ocean
  • Ocean water is salty while seawater is saline in nature
  • A sea is an extension of the ocean

In conclusion, several bodies of water make up a significant part of the earth. Their presence help in the continuation of life, they determine seasons and weather. Water is also an essential part of human and animal life.

Other Related Topics

Lastly, these are other related topics you may be interested in.

What are water bodies?
Body of water names
Different types of water bodies
Difference between Bay and Cove
The Difference between Pond and Lakes
Difference between Rivers and Stream

travelwaka giidy bag




What do you think? Leave a Reply