Dead bird in the Aral Sea. Carcass of a bird that died from inhaling salty dust in what was the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea was a lake lying between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south. Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world, with an area of 26,300 sq miles, the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. The shrinking of the Aral Sea has been called one of the planet's worst environmental disasters . The level of water in the went down by 13 metres and its water surface decreased from 6.6 to 2.2 million hectares. The carry-over of salts from the extinct sea area amounts to 65 million tons. Photographed in.
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