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Caspian Sea

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Caspian Sea viewed from orbit
Caspian Sea viewed from orbit

The Caspian Sea is a landlocked sea in Asia. It is bordered by Russia (Dagestan, Kalmykia, Astrakhan Oblast), Republic of Azerbaijan, Iran (Guilan, Mazandaran and Golestan provinces), Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, with the central Asian steppes to the north and east. In Antiquity it was called the Hyrcanian Ocean. Other old names for the Caspian Sea include the Mazandaran Sea, Khazar Sea and the Khvalissian Sea.

The Caspian is one of the world'Lake" title ="Lake">lakes. It is, however, the world's largest inland body of water and is often listed as the world'Freshwater" title ="Freshwater">freshwater lake). It has a surface area of 371,000 km² (143000 sq. mi.).

The Caspian holds great numbers of sturgeon, which yield eggs that are processed into caviar. However, overfishing has threatened the sturgeon population to the point that environmentalists advocate banning sturgeon fishing completely until the population recovers.

Recently discovered huge oil fields also lie underneath the Caspian Sea, though further exploration is needed to define the full extent of the oil potential in this part of the world.

The main problem is the status of the Caspian Sea and the establishment of the water boundaries between the five riparian countries.

The level of the Caspian has fallen and risen many times over the centuries. Some Russian historians claim that a medieval rising of the Caspian caused the coastal towns of Khazaria, such as Atil, to flood. In 2004, the water level is -28 metres, or 28 metres below sea level.

The Volga River and the Ural River discharge into the Caspian Sea, but as it is endorheic there is no natural outflow (other than by evaporation).

The sea is connected to the Sea of Azov by the Manych Canal.

Cities near the Caspian Sea

Major cities by the Caspian Sea:

Historical cities by the Sea:

See also

External links

da:Kaspiske Hav de:Kaspisches Meer et:Kaspia meri es:Mar Caspio eo:Kaspia Maro fr:Mer Caspienne nl:Kaspische Zee ja:カスピ海 pl:Morze Kaspijskie pt:Mar C√°spio ru:Каспийское море sk:Kaspick√© more sv:Kaspiska havet zh:裏海

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