Aral Sea Once one of the four largest lakes in the world, today the Aral Sea is mostly an arid desert strewn with rusty old ghost ships, a reminder of the lake's former volume. Since 1960, the lake has been steadily shrinking thanks primarily to irrigation projects started by the former Soviet Union, which diverted the rivers which fed it. Today, the Aral Sea is only 10 percent of its former size. The region's fishing industry and ecosystem have been devastated, and the tragedy has been....
Mo‘ynaq – Graveyard of Ships in the Desert - the Aral sea, formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world has been shrinking since the 1960s.
The Aral Sea was once one of the four largest lakes in the world, situated between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south. In the 1960′s the Soviet Union redirected its tributary rivers into irrigation projects, and as a result by 2007 it had shrunk to 10% of its original size. Once prosperous fishing towns like Muynak were left stranded miles from the retreating waters, their boats high and dry on the salt-encrusted desert sand.
The middle of the desert is probably the last place on earth you'd expect to find a flotilla of abandoned ships stranded nearly 100 miles from the nearest shoreline. The story starts back in the 1980s, when Mo'ynaq was a thriving fishing village situated on an inland lake. Then the USSR diverted the water to irrigate massive cotton fields and the lake dried up-- leaving Mo'ynaq's boats high and dry (and the villagers with no way to make a living).