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How One of World’s Largest Lakes Turned Into A Vast Man-Made Desert

This show’s that man’s actions can greatly affect the environment.

This vast desert with old ships and fishing boats seem like a set from a movie, but it’s actually real. Interestingly, the Aral Sea in Central Asia was once a huge lake – the fourth largest in the world – that has shrunken in size, leaving the place barren and dry.

The then-26,000-square mile area served as a border between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. But starting in the 1960s, the place dried up when rivers that supply its waters were diverted elsewhere.

Old ships and abandoned fishing boats rest on the desert plains…


…that was once one of the world’s largest lakes half the size of England.

aral-sea-fishing boats

The cause for this phenomenon dubbed as one of Earth’s “most shocking environmental disasters” is the Soviet Union’s intention of boosting the cotton plantations in the arid region. The ambitious Soviet project – a diversion of the two rivers that fed into the Aral Sea – was only a short-term success. The engineers decided that the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers would irrigate the desert, where cotton could be grown for future exports – but the implementation of the idea led to an ecological catastrophe.

The sea once stretched for about 26,000 square miles, but has dried up beginning in the 1960s.


Irrigation for cotton plantations contributed greatly to the sea’s evaporation.


The evaporation of the sea resulted in layers of sand that have extremely high sodium content. Winds can carry this sand to different regions as far as Japan and Scandinavia, which also contributed to health problems. Cancer and other illnesses are also common in this once-popular fishing area.

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“You can’t see salt in the air, but you feel it on the skin, and you can feel it on a tongue,” said a local woman, whose husband suffers from chronic bronchitis. But the salt isn’t the only threat; the wind also spreads dangerous pesticides.

It was the fourth largest lake in the world.


Satellite images of the Aral Sea. From 1964 to 2014.

Satellite images of the Aral Sea. Top left is the sea in 1964, bottom right is the sea in 2014.

The area was also given a new name, the Aralkum Desert.


Imagine yourself traveling from the small Kazakh city of Aralsk to the Aral Sea, which is slowly and steadily dying. Having turned into desert, it is now home to camels and abandoned ships decorated with graffiti depicting the ghosts of sailors.

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However, there might be some hope for Aral Sea as nearby nations want to help out with restoration projects. These efforts to restore the water in the great lake started in the 1960s; some of them failed, while a few succeeded – just like the project in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan constructed a large dam around the remnants of Aral Sea and called it Dike Kokaral. Thanks to this dam, the waters are starting to rise up again.

Dike Kokaral in Kazakhstan helps restore water levels in parts of the Aral Sea

Dike Kokaral in Kazakhstan helps restore water levels in parts of the Aral Sea

Fish population has been replenished and the presence of water in the area also helped bring down rain again


The dam may contribute only a little, but it is already a big step towards bringing back life to Aral Sea.

H/T: UpWorthy, DailyMail


Bitcoin Will Certainly Become ‘The World’s Single Currency In 10 Years,’ Twitter CEO Says

In 10 years or less, Bitcoin could be the only currency used for global payments, Jack Dorsey believes.

With all the rage about cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, it is no wonder that more and more people believe in its potential. And for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Bitcoin could soon become the only currency the world will ever use.

During his interview with The Times on Wednesday, Dorsey said he believes the cryptocurrency will become the primary currency used globally for payments. He envisions this to happen in 10 years but he believes the transition could happen sooner than that.

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The 7 Best Dash Cams to Buy for Your Car in 2018

Are you in the market for dash cams? This list should help you out!

Unlike in the past, it now makes total sense to install a dash cam in your car. With all the acts of stupidity – some are even unbelievable, so to speak – on the road, keeping a visual record is only practical and necessary. As the name suggests, this device serves as video evidence of traffic accidents and can really help you big time especially in court.

With the ever-increasing popularity of dash cams, keeping track of what is best seems difficult. But worry no more – Elite Readers has compiled a list of best dash cameras in 2018. Not only will you learn the best ones, you will also know which are affordable and of good value.

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Futuristic Tire Concepts Designed to Revolutionize the Future of Mobility

These visionary tire concepts are designed to make mobility safer and more efficient.

Whether you are into cars or not, you know so well the importance of tires. Not only do they help you keep safe on the road, they guarantee you a smooth transportation. With technology’s never-ending advancement, it is no surprise that tires are now more capable than ever.

A video featuring different kinds of concept tires is making rounds on the internet. And judging by their looks, they could really change the future of mobility. With how cool and innovative they are, there is no reason for motorists to never desire them.

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