Video: Barsa Kelmes lake in Uzbekistan

Ustyurt plateau. "The land of no return!"


"The land of no return!" So warning and frightening the word-combination "Barsa Kelmes" (‘Barsa Kelmas’) sounds in Turkic. This is the name of a drying and brackish lake and the natural boundary Barsa Kelmes at the Ustyurt plateau in Uzbekistan.

Barsa Kelmes depression is the former bottom of the prehistoric Tethys Sea, which vanished from the surface of the globe 30 million years ago, leaving for us the possibility to contemplate the silence of the Karakum desert, the Kizilkum desert and the Ustyurt plateau, rising above the surrounding world like a smooth table.

Canyons and chinks of desert of gypsum and clay gently slop down to the sparkling world of salt - salt depression Barsa Kelmes. It has an enormous size - almost two thousand square kilometers! It is the most little-studied and hard to get place on the plateau. The bottom of Barsa Kelmes is only 10 - 11 m above the bed of the Aral Sea. And the whole depression is full of huge deposits of salt, bequeathed from the Tethys Sea. Incredibly huge gray-white-and-blue space greeted the rare visitors of these places; almost pure salt that filled up all around to the horizon. More than 70 km long and about 40 km wide - these are the dimensions of this giant reservoir of salt.

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