The Aral Sea was once the fourth largest lake in the world but over the years, has shrunk to less than 10 per cent in size. (Facebook)
The Aral Sea, once the fourth largest lake in the world, has shrunk to less than 10 per cent in size over the years, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says.
Nestled between the countries Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the lake has receded drastically turning the eastern basin of the lake into a desert, called the Aralkum Desert.
In a timelapse video, NASA has captured the lake’s disappearance spanning from the year 2000 to 2016.
A 16-year old trajectory shows how the lake went from being a healthy waterbody to a victim of human interference. It started with the Soviet Union intervention that redirected the lake's tributaries to irrigate the nearby desert. As the desert bloomed, Aral Sea suffered severe damage that led to its waterline receding over the years.
The communities living by the lake lost their livelihood and had to eventually move out. The water body saw further damage when the Kazakhstan government built a dam between northern and southern part of the lake, leaving it irreparable.