Aral Sea in Kyzylorda and Aktobe region
The shallow Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth largest body of inland water. The remnants of it nestle in the climatically inhospitable heart of Central Asia, to the east of the Caspian Sea. The Aral Sea and its demise are of great interest and increasing concern to scientists because of the remarkable shrinkage of its area and volume that began in the second half of the 20th century—when the region was part of the Soviet Union—and continued into the 21st.
Due to all this, the town of Aral is a fascinating place to visit. The former fishing port, which was renowned around the Soviet Union for its large catches, now lies next to endless desert, as the sea’s waters have long since retreated over the horizon.