The Caspian Sea is actually the largest lake in the world. Ironical, isn’t it? Read on for more interesting and amazing facts about Caspian Sea.

Facts About Caspian Sea

Landlocked between Asia and Europe about 5.5 million years ago, Caspian Sea shares the characteristics of both a sea and a lake. The Romans were the first to call it a sea because of its vastness and salty water though it has only 1/3rd salinity of that of seawater. Just like the Black Sea, Caspian Sea is also a remnant of the Ancient Paratethys Sea. This sea became landlocked owing to a fall in the sea level caused by tectonic uplift. This water body is rich in minerals and other natural resources. It is now highly exploited for economic benefits, as it is an important fishing bed, and this has triggered many environmental issues in this region. The Caspian Sea, which is surrounded by five littoral countries, is central point to many political debates as well. Read on the section below for more facts related to Caspian Sea.

Interesting And Fun Facts About Caspian Sea

  • This water body is bestowed with many names like Hyrcanian Ocean, Khazar Sea, Khvalissian Sea and Mazandaran Sea.
  • The name of Caspian Sea is derived from the name ‘Caspi’, the people who lived in the region to the south-west of Transcaucasia.
  • Caspian Sea is the world’s largest inland water body with a surface area of 371,000 km2. The volume of the sea is 78,200 km3.
  • Caspian Sea forms 40 to 44 % of the total lake waters of the world.
  • Caspian Sea shares the characteristics of both lake and sea. It is listed as world’s largest lake but, it is not a freshwater lake.
  • Caspian Sea shares its borders with many countries like Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Iran.
  • It has a large embayment on the shore of Turkmenistan, namely Kara Bogaz Gol.
  • Manych Canal connects Caspian Sea to the Sea of Azove.
  • The Caspian Sea area is rich in minerals and natural resources. Oil fields were recovered there recently along with natural gas supplies.
  • The water levels of Caspian Sea keep fluctuating depending upon the discharge from the Volga River. The water from Volga is now diverted for residential and industrial reasons and this has reduced the water level of the Caspian Sea greatly. This has now become an issue demanding serious concern.
  • There are about 130 rivers which drain water into the Caspian Sea. Important rivers which discharge water to Caspian Sea are Volga river of Russia and Ural river of Russia and Kazakhstan.
  • Caspian Sea is a closed basin or an endorheic basin as it doesn’t have any natural outflow.
    Salinity of the Caspian Sea is approx. 1.2%, which is about 1/3rd the salinity of seawater. However, water evaporates and the highest rate of evaporation is found in the Garabogazkol region, which is greatly exploited for minerals.
  • Maximum width of the sea is 435 km and the maximum depth is 1025 m. The lake retention time or Resident time (the mean time that water spends in a lake) of the Caspian Sea is 250 years.
  • There are many islands scattered throughout the Caspian Sea, most of which are uninhabited by humans. Tyuleniy Archipelago is one such region which is declared as the Important Bird Area (IBA) and National Protected Zone.
  • The longest island in the Caspian Sea is Ogurja Ada which is 47 km long. Its maximum width is 3 km. Ogruja Ada comes under the administrative area of Turkmenistan and is the largest island of the country.
  • Large number of Sturgeon fish inhabits Caspian Sea. Their eggs (roe) are used to prepare Caviar.
  • The Zebra mussel originated in Black Sea and Caspian Sea and was accidently introduced to other marine ecologies where it survived as invasive species.
  • Caspian seal, which belongs to the group of inland water seals, is endemic to this water body.
  • A number of fossils of human ancestors like Homo erectus have been recovered from the region around the Caspian Sea.
  • Many islands in the Caspian Sea are significant due to their economic importance. Many of them, especially those near the Azerbaijan coast, are oil reserves.
  • The island Nargin was a former Soviet Union Base. It is part of Baku Archipelago and separates the Bay of Baku from the sea located to the south of Absheron Peninsula.
  • Many islands, especially those near the Azerbaijan, have been subjected to serious environmental damage due to oil production. This has affected the Caspian seals and is now a major cause of concern.
  • Main Turkmen Canal, constructed in 1950 connects, Amu-Darya river to Aral Sea. This canal is used for irrigation and shipping.
  • There are many political disputes over the demarcation of the Caspian Sea between the littoral nations like Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan.
  • There was a treaty between Iran (Persia) and the Soviet Union that the Caspian Sea be considered a lake divided into Persian and Soviet sectors, with resources shared in common.

How to Cite

Related Articles

More from