MASSIMO BREGA / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MASSIMO BREGA / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Boll from a cotton plant (Gossypium sp.) being held in a pair of hands. This cotton boll has been farmed using water from rivers supplying the Aral Sea. This inland sea, once one of the largest in the world, is in the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In the 1930s the Soviet Union dug canals that diverted the sea's major rivers to irrigate cotton fields. From the 1960s, the sea started to shrink, and by 2004 some 75 percent of the sea's area had been lost. The cotton fields thrived, but the inhabitants of former fishing ports struggled to survive in a dry and arid landscape.
Model release not required. Property release not required.