Maine is the most beautiful and geographically diverse state in the country. That's not an opinion, that's a fact based off my 36 years of calling this beautiful place home.

Maine is incredibly unique in that our largest industry is tourism, but the tourism season is relatively short compared to other states like Florida and Hawaii... you know, states where it's actually warm for more than 5 minutes out of the year.

Anyway, it's easy to put numerical monetary values on certain things in the Pine Tree State. For example, we can value our lobster, blueberry and potato industries based on how much we export and the total number of sales, right? But how do we value something that isn't really for sale?

According to an article published by WGME 13, the University of Maine recently revised a study that was done back in 1997 to see what the financial value of Maine's lakes actually are. But, how do you figure out how much water is worth?

Well, according to the news article, the study takes in to consideration things like home sales, summer camps, water consumption and water quality to help identify an overall value. And, what they found is nothing short of amazing.

Researchers at UMAINE found that Maine's lakes are worth a staggering $14,000,000,000! Yeah, that's fourteen billion dollars. Insert Dr. Evil's pink here. And what's more? Because they didn't take into consideration winter sports on Maine's frozen lakes, they actually think this is UNDER-valued.

According to the report from the University of Maine,

The team made a few key changes to the 1997 study for their updated version. First, they increased the sample size from 36 lakes to 150 lakes, and expanded the geographic region they studied. They conducted their surveys about lake recreation online instead of surveying people visiting lakes (as the previous study did) in order to capture the reasons that Mainers might not visit lakes. They surveyed 768 Mainers in all. 

But, don't get any crazy ideas to make some quick cash. Maine's lakes are NOT, I repeat, NOT for sale!

LOOK: Here are just some of the most magical places in Maine

You don't need to break the bank or risk life and limb to feel like you're in another world. Just head to Maine and explore these surprisingly magical spots. Tap or click the photo for more information.

Gallery Credit: Stephen Lenz

Mainers Advised to NOT Travel to These 9 Places

The United States Department of State regularly issues travel advisories for Americans to help keep them safe during their vacations. There are four levels of advisories: exercise normal precautions, exercise increased caution, reconsider travel and do not travel. These are nine of the 19 destinations under a Level 4: DO NOT TRAVEL advisory.

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