Once being the 4th largest lake in the world Aral is now a dying sea.
The Aral Sea started to disappear in 1960-s when Amudarya and Syrdarya started to supply water for the agricultural needs. As a result today the water from the rivers sometimes never get to the sea at all getting lost in the sands. According to economical investigations the income from the agriculture is several times more than the income from the fishing industry which was very well developed in the Aral Sea. But from the point of ecology this situation is a disaster.
Nowadays the sea is divided into 4 lakes: Southern Aral Sea, western and eastern basins of Northern Aral sea and a small lake between Northern and Southern Aral seas. The only part that has some tiny perspectives for the future is the smallest Southern Aral sea. This territory lies in Kazakhstan, and they try to preserve what is left in the smaller part of the Sea.
Once the Sea left on the bottom there were found 2 ancient mausoleums and remains of the village. Thus appeared an opinion that decrease of the Aral Sea level is periodical.
Gas fields were found on the former seabed of the Aral sea. The fields are being actively developed and gas derricks are seen all over the salty desert.
This trip is an expedition. We drive in a 4WD vehicle along the salty desert, the former seabed of the Aral Sea, with old rusty ships scattered around and gas derricks seen closer to the horizon. Finally, after hours of driving we reach the shores. It looks like snow and ice lying around the water, but it's not. There are lots of salt, huge pieces of salt looking like pieces of ice. One has to walk on them to get the to the water. And the water is so salty, that it is impossible to swim. We bathe in it and after going out we need to get some fresh water to wash away all this salt. After watching the sunset we stay for an overnight in tents before driving back to civilization. The sky is full of stars, the Aral sea is splashing nearby and it is hard to realize that even in a year's time the waters will move away a little.
Take time and come to see and touch the disappearing sea!