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Dead zone, Aral Sea, Kazakhstan. Formerly one of the 4 largest lakes in the world, the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960's after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. By 2007, it had declined to 10% of its original size. In an ongoing effort in Kazakhstan to save and replenish the North Aral Sea, a dam project was completed in 2005; in 2008, the water level in this lake had risen by 39 ft. compared to 2003. Photo by Max Ashirov
pink desert Libya---On the surface of the sand free corridors among the great dunes of the southern part of the Great Sand Sea lie one of the most enigmatic mysteries of the Libyan Desert - chunks of green through yellow to white Libyan Desert Glass (LDG), a mineral made up of almost 100% pure silica in an amorphous, glassy state.