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Aral Sea

Aral Sea

The Aral Sea (Lake) is a saline closed lake located on the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and once was one of the four largest lakes on the planet. The lake-sea was famous for its rich natural reserves, and the Aral Sea region was considered a thriving and biologically rich natural environment. There were ports, fish factories, fishing flotillas sailed across the Aral Sea. However, today, an environmental disaster is associated with the name of this lake.

Good to Know

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan
Area 7297-8303 km². Volume - less than 75 km³. Flowing rivers: Syr Darya, Amu Darya
Since the 1960s, the sea level and the volume of water in it began to decline rapidly, in 1989 the sea split into two isolated reservoirs - the North (Small) and Southern (Big) Aral Sea. In 2014, the eastern part of the South (Big) Aral Sea completely dried up, reaching that year a historic minimum of the entire sea area of 7297 km².
Best season:
April – October

The Aral Sea appeared when the glaciers of the mountain systems of the Pamir and Tien Shan began to melt actively (about 17.6 thousand years ago). In Turkic languages, “Aral” means “island, archipelago”. The unreasonably high consumption of its water for irrigation of cotton fields has led to the Aral Sea drying up. Over the past forty years, the area of ​​the lake has decreased tenfold. Due to lower water levels, fish died. The drying up of the sea not only deprived people of work, but also affected the ecology: the Aral was a huge temperature regulator, therefore, when the water left, the maximum temperature in the vicinity began to reach 60 ° C.

Aral is a kind of “Central Asian Chernobyl” – houses in the sand, deserted villages and sandstorms. Aral dries, Aral dies. Today, on the site of the once deep sea, a new sand and salt marshes Aralkum desert is formed, the area of ​​which is already 38 thousand square meters. km You can walk around the real cemetery of the dead ships, wander among the rusted skeletons of the sea conquerors, who once cut through the waves of the Aral Sea, see how the sun bounces off many kilometers of salt marshes, which were not so long ago the bottom of the ancient sea.