Moose Boulder – Houghton, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

Moose Boulder

Houghton, Michigan

A micro island in a pond on an island in a lake on an island in a lake. 


Moose Boulder is quite simply a tiny islet in a pond called Moose Flats (when the pond exists, as it can recede seasonally). Without context, it seems rather ordinary. In reality, the rock is a micro island and a mighty brain befuddler.

Usually, Moose Boulder overlooks a patch of often wet, soggy earth. As the floodwaters seep in and a pond forms around it, the boulder becomes one of the most fascinating islands in the world. This flooding of Moose Flats transforms Moose Boulder into the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake in the world (by surface area). Try saying that five times fast.

It sits atop Ryan Island, the largest island in Siskiwit Lake. This lake is the largest lake on Isle Royale, which is the largest chunk of land in Lake Superior, the largest of the North America’s Great Lakes. Put simply, Moose Boulder may be the most convoluted island in the world. 

Though there are larger tongue twisting, mind muddling anomalous sub-islands scattered around the globe, this is one earned its particular title because though it isn’t the largest actual island, it sits within the world’s largest lake.