Karakum Desert

Karakum Desert



The Karakum is a sand desert stretching for 350,000 km2 from the Caspian Sea to Pamir foothills and from Amu Darya to Kopet Dag ridge. Its name is translated as “black sands” (“kara” - black, “kum” - sand). The Karakum climate is very severe. Summer temperature can reach +50°С, while the soil can run hot as high as +80°С. Winter features strong frosts up to -30°С. Rainfall is very scanty, and precipitates mainly in November and April.

Flora is represented by the sand sedge, acacia, saksaul, and in spring, by grasses and flowers which cover huge areas, except for dunes, and completely dry up by May. Fauna of the Karakum desert includes gazelles, foxes, wolves, various rodents, lizards, snakes and insects. Besides the wildlife, grassland farming to raise sheep and camels is also common there.

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