The Aral Sea is a silent reminder of the carelessness and shortsightedness of a human being. Once, one of the largest drainless lakes in the world (fourth largest), today Aral is just a small lake, divided in two by a parched area of the solonchak desert. Initially, its area used to be 68 km.
Initially, the sea began to dry out due to natural causes. With the additional intervention of people who constantly diverted water for irrigation of crops and cotton, the Aral began to shallow even faster.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Aral is to rent a 4-wheel and drive from the nearby Nukus city through Muynak city. The car needs to have a good clearance - you will have to drive on the former bottom of the sea which is a desert now.
In summer time the temperature near the Aral Sea reaches 50-55 degrees Celsius, and often rises even higher. Therefore, one must be careful and not to remain in the sun for a long time. In addition, it is necessary to have a headwear.
What to see
It is noteworthy that in the 13th century on the place of the present desert and the former sea there was a developed area. This conclusion can be drawn, as the scientists found the remains of a mosque and a cemetery here. Both objects are dated by the above-mentioned time.
Tourists go to see the newly formed solonchak desert Aralkum, and, of course, what is left of the sea. Nowadays, it is divided into 2 halves - the Big and Small Aral. Its total area has decreased to ¼ of its original size.
Unfortunately, the infrastructure of the Aral Sea area is not so diverse. However, if you want, you can go to the jeep tours organized here in the desert.
You can also visit the former islands of the Aral Sea. The most famous of them is the Vozrozhdeniya Island (Renaissance). At the moment it is uninhabited and divided equally between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
This land area was formed due to the drying out of the sea. This event took place in the XVI - XVII century. In 2009 the island merged with the mainland.
In addition, there is a cemetery of ships near the Aral.
Things to do
Surprisingly, however, you can still swim here. To tell the truth, you should swim very carefully - the water in the Aral is salty and having got into the eyes it can cause some discomfort. A lot of tourists come here to take salt baths.
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