Inland lake, once the world's fourth largest fresh water sea, shared between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It's now drying up because all the rivers that used to run into it have been diverted for irrigation of the cotton crop. (The shoreline has moved 90 miles since 1960 in some places.) What little water does come to it has all sorts of pesticides in it.
The soil around it is getting saltier (and full of chemicals) because it blows away from the exposed lake bed, and the people in a wide area of Central Asia are suffering from all sorts of illnesses due to the pollution.

One problem with the Aral Sea is the anthrax buried on an island there. By traveling to the Russian island of Vozrozhdeniye one can easily gain access to anthrax spores that are prepared for use as a biological weapon.

During the Cold War the Russians developed anthrax for use as a biological weapon, but they decided to bury the containers for the spores several feet under the sand of the island of Vozrozhdeniye. The island is in the shrinking sea of Ajan. As it is one could easily use a truck and a boat to get there, as there is no security protecting the island.

Apparently many wonder why anyone should be concerned, as all of the spores may be dead, and if they are not it would take significant testing to find out which spores are and are not. However I wonder why someone wouldn't just use all of the spores instead of testing them, the dead ones would obviously have little affect but they probably wouldn't impede on the rest of the spores. Also the threat seems unlikely because on nine seperate occasions a terrorist group has attempted to use anthrax on a Japanese subway, eventually giving up on anthrax and switching to sarin nerve gas, killing 22.

After the terrorist attacks on the United States Pentagon and World Trade Centre buildings of September 11, 2001 this would seem frightening. However, the failures of the past in dealing with anthrax insist that the problem is not great.

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