Swimming of course is always fun, great exercise, and a great way to cool off on a hot day. I probably watched too many shark movies growing up, but when I swim in the ocean or a lake, I always wonder what is lurking in the water below me. Am alone on this?

Water is clear in a pool and you have much more peace of mind when you can see crystal blue clean. Growing up in Chicago I did my fair share of swimming in Lake Michigan as we all do now in our great state.

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Ever wonder what you may be swimming near in Lake Michigan. We all heard stories of danger and fictitious monsters in this huge lake. Some are true, and some maybe not.

What We Need To Be Aware Of In Lake Michigan

So what are the most dangerous creatures in Lake Michigan? Should you be a little scared about swimming or boating there? Here are some creatures to be aware of in our favorite great lake according to drivinvibin.com.

Sea Lamprey

Lampreys in steel bowl
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Sea Lamprey is pretty scary to look at, it looks like an eel, has a big mouth and sharp teeth.

Snapping Turtle

Common Snapping Turtle

Snapping turtles reside in many areas by Lake Michigan and beware they will bite if they are threatened. They will not attack unless you give them a reason to. Keep your distance and you’ll be fine, pet one, and you may lose a finger.


Cyanobacteria should be a concern, also called blue-green algae, it’s common in many lakes and waters.  Many are harmless, but be aware that they have toxins that can make you ill.

Northern Snakehead Fish are very creepy and can walk on land and swim. They can wiggle-walk their way across the land. this invasive fish is hated by fishermen. You do not want to catch this fish. It gets as big as 33 inches with sharp teeth.

Land Animals

The animals around Lake Michigan can be a threat.  There are venomous spiders like the brown recluse and black widow.  Plus we all hate mosquitos and black-legged ticks.  they do carry diseases that can really affect your health. And yes watch for rattlesnake, black bear, or rarely, a gray wolf.

MORE: Unique Pets You Can Legally Own In Michigan

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.

SEE MORE: Animals That Are on Michigan's Endangered Species List

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