The Aral Sea [updated]

Aral Sea, Russia

The Aral Sea was once one of the largest seas of the continent. It was fed up by two powerful rivers that were later turned away by the decision of Soviet authorities. They started using water of those rivers for agriculture and just look how it dramatically changed the look of the sea, which is now a mere puddle.

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The black contour shows the original size of the sea before it was deprived of its rivers. The green is how much water there was left a few years ago.

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The water has too high concentration of salt to support any fish life.

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And that’s how it looks like now. Just a little bit more effort of the Sun and nothing more water would be left.

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Just imagine this was before a sea bottom, with thousand feet tall water level above and pretty sea life. Now you can come there on the car.

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To understand the scale of those cliffs that were under water once you can check the three dark small spots at the right bottom corner of the photo. Those are the lost cows. People tell the story that they meet them from time to time there but have no idea how they manage to survive in this no-green desert.

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Previously there was fishing industry around, later thousands of fishermen were left without jobs and had to relocate.

Sadly this place has no chances to revive and become once again a tourist attraction

some photos via Pavel Kosenko

31 thoughts on “The Aral Sea [updated]”

    • OMG Russians are so poor they drank all the water from Aral sea cause they cant afford decent mineral waters from Rocky mountains 🙁

    • Miss India, please go to book store and buy yourself a world map. Aral sea is located in Mid Asia. East from Caspian sea. It lies on border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This sea has no common deals with Russia.

    • false Kirov, does it really hurt SO much to have a inferior intellect to me, that you must steal my name, and try to be me? It’s pretty sad to be honest.

  1. they were re-diverted to for agricultural purposes, to make hundreds of thousands of acres of desert into farm land.

    it worked, but the sea was completely devastated.

    • Well when you think about it, it’s really not a big deal. It can’t hold any life and if it’s so salty, I doubt any animals relied on it as a source of drinking.

      Seems like a good move to make.

      • It sounds like they once had an abundance of life w/ fishing and all.

        Sad. I guess that’s “progress” (no matter what country it is….)

  2. Actually this was in the Soviet Union, but is not in Russia. The (former) Aral sea is in between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

  3. There are videos on youtube of the secret lab on the island as well.

    Definitly harder to reach than Chernobyl: 8 hours by jeep to reach the sea thru desert lands, crossing the waters on small boats for two hours while transporting motos, then two hours of moto on the island.

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  6. LOL I laughed when I read one of the captions; “February 2004 Kazakkhstan builds a long dike in hopes of partially saving the northern section of the Aral sea while blocking the Uzbek portion” XDDDDD so Kazakhs really do hate Uzbekistanis. LOL


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