Aral Sea and Nearby Deserts44.8N 59.8E
The arid landscape of Kazakhstan (above), Uzbekistan (center) and Turkmenistan (below) includes two important stretches of desert: the Kyzyl Kum and the Karakum.
The Kyzyl Kum, or Qyzylqum, Desert stretches between the the Amu Darya (below) and Syr Darya (above, right) Rivers. It is the 11th largest desert in the world.
The Karakum, on the other hand, lies south of the Amu Darya. It occupies about 70% of the land in Turkmenistan.
The close-up focuses on the South Aral Sea, which further divided into eastern and western basins in 2003. Here, the western basin shows some green swirls of algae or sediments, while the eastern basin appears very shallow.