Skip to comments.Mo‘ynaq – Graveyard of Ships in the Desert (Uzbekistan)
Posted on 05/27/2012 8:30:55 AM PDT by DogByte6RER
Moynaq Graveyard of Ships in the Desert
Many have visited an abandoned city and wondered what catastrophic event could have caused such an exodus from a metropolis once so evidently thriving. Yet these cities are usually hundreds if not thousands of years old, the everyday clamor and cry of civilization just an echo. Visit Mo'ynaq in Uzbekistan, however, and you can see apocalypse right here, right now.
The Soviet era sign still welcomes people to the city. Yet there are few visitors who stay more than a few hours. They all leave after they have done looking at what is reminiscent of a scene from a science fiction disaster movie - big ships adrift in the desert.
If this was a Steven Spielberg movie the question would be how did they get here? This is real life, however. The only question is what on earth happened?
The city has seen a precipitous decline in its population since the 1980s. The problem? Mo'ynaq is a port or at least it was. The sea is now 150km (almost a hundred miles) away from the point at which it used to lap up against the citys harbor. The remnants of the cataclysm are everywhere in the form of the corroded hulks of fishing ships.
Amid the miles and miles of sand and scrub, these vessels sit; isolated, stranded, rusting and supremely out of place, these are shells from which the sound of the sea refuses to make passage. They make an unlikely playground for local children although one can only ponder that the cooling dip in to the seas blue waters that their fathers enjoyed would be of more benefit to them. Do they realize that they would have been fishermen?
The city of Mo'ynaq (the only port in the otherwise land-locked country of Uzbekistan) bordered the Aral Sea, in reality an inland lake albeit the fourth largest in the world. It shared the sea with its neighbor, Kazakhstan, and both countries were under the auspices of the USSR for the best part of a century. Irrigation projects by the Soviets beginning in the 1960s saw the sea decline to only ten percent of its original size by the middle of the first decade of the twenty first century.
The water had been drained off the Aral Seas tributaries to support the countrys fast growing cotton industry. The less water there was the easier it was for the sun to evaporate it and the shoreline began to recede and recede further each year. This shrinkage combined with the chemical runoff from the cotton industry wreaked havoc on the fish in the sea. Yet nothing was done.
The city, with a population in the tens of thousands, had relied on fishing the sea to maintain its economy. It had developed as a major center for fishing and canning yet as the sea declined overfishing became the norm, exacerbating the problem. The canning factory is still there, its gates firmly closed. The only fishermen in town now are on posters not ships.
Then people started dying too in large numbers. Dust storms from the desiccated and disastrously polluted area that had once been the sea bed poisoned the lungs of the inhabitants. Faced with the prospect of no employment and a severely curtailed lifespan most people who could upped and left.
Some still remain: the Karakalpak people have lived in the area for over a thousand years. Yet now they must suffer hotter summers and colder winters - another byproduct of this environmental disaster. When it snows in the winter the ships look more ghostly than ever. There is some disaster tourism which brings in a little money and there is little to do but this. Yet the population is made up mostly of the very old who look after the very young parents often leave to seek work elsewhere to send money back to support the family.
The children who tag along with the tourists are, perhaps, blithely unaware that theirs may will be the last generation to live in this barren place which once sustained so many tens of thousands. It is a harsh lesson that they will have to learn on a very personal level.
You have to wonder if the punishment on the rest of the world has to be as harsh before we sit up and take notice of what we are doing to our environment. After all, if you call Earth Planet A, then one thing is for sure there is certainly no Planet B. We just don't seem to have figured that out yet.
Comminists were in charge of the water. ‘Nuf said.
The wonders of communism.
They just need to put communists back in charge of the dessert, and they will run out of sand.
Also the wonders of out of control environmentalism.
Here in California, our once verdant Central Valley has become a dust bowl in large sections, due to water being withheld from farmers for dubious, political motivations.
Must not offend the “green” voting block, y’know...
That’s what kills me about the idiots on the left.
They support communism in the name of environment, equality, and human rights and those are all the primary victims of communism.
I on the other hand am a pro private, capitalist, environmentalist. I love nature and know that nothing protects it better than making it profitable.
If enviro-Nazis want to see a REAL disaster, they can forget “global climate change” and look at the Aral Sea. And it was all caused by their best friends, the Communists.
It would appear that the Soviets built this fishing village miles inland in anticipation of rising sea levels due to man-made global warming.
sounds like Chinatown and Owens Valley/Lake
There are several lakes in California suffering the same fate, but a much smaller scale: docks, boat ramps and pleasure marina’s high and dry, akaline lake bed exposed, unhealthy dust blowing into neighboring communities.
All because too much water was diverted for other uses (too much to maintain the lake levels).
“I love nature and know that nothing protects it better than making it profitable.”
I’m old enough to remember when the Sierra Club actually promoted visiting the great outdoors, and encouraged people to get out and hike in wilderness areas.
Now, they want these area off limits to all human activity. Except them, of course.
Our assistant scoutmaster back in the mid-1960s had a 4 wheel drive Dodge Powerwagon, and he was a devoted Sierra Club member who loved his motorized transport to the back country.
Today they’d hang him from the highest redwood.
Two very telling images of this event. The first is a GIF file, showing the shrinking sea (and identifying the location of Mo’ynoq).
The second showing satellite imagery from 2009:
Absolutely devastating what the Communists have done to the region.
Oh, and one more thing. You see that island in the western part of the sea? Which eventually became a peninsula, and eventually part of the mainland itself? It’s called “Vozrozhdeniya”. This article makes no mention of it, but it has a very sinister past from the Soviet era. Needless to say, I don’t think it’s just pollution and salt that’s sitting on the former lake bed making people sick.
The Soviets diverted the water from several rivers from flowing into the Aral Seal to be used for raising cotton and anotherr crop in semi-arid regions, thus denying the water to the Aral sea and turning it into a desert mudhole, while the cotton never got enought water to grow, among other conditions that made the area illsuited to the crop, but this did not stop the Soviet 5 year plan.
One can see this coming in a 2nd obama adimistration: coal mines and coal fired electrical plants closing, cars being orderto run on E-85 ethanol, which will destroy all currurent engines more than a coupple of years old, thus leaving people with out transportation in the country side. windmills that don’t produce affordable electricty, thus folks freeze ein the winter and die of overheating in the airconditionedless summers.
Guess it wasn't important enough to do squat about. Same as everything Liberal. They bitch and moan but want the peasants to do it. While they fly around in the private jets.
I guess their friend Gorby wasn't listening to them. So F*ck them.
Looks to me like they have a good opportunity to begin hosting a national sand castle building contest.
“Forget it Jake, it’s Mo’ynaq.”
Thanks DogByte6RER and GreyFriar, Workers’ Paradise Ping.
The marina isn't dredged because of stated concerns about stirring up toxic heavy metals in the silt and subsequent pollution of San Francisco Bay waters.