Central Asia fun facts

Yesterday I showed you a map and promised future fun facts and photos. I am not there yet, so I will not be able to give you a lot, but I thought a small taste might be nice.  So, here is my first installmet of Central Asia Fun Facts:

Kazakhstan:

  • It is the largest land locked country in the world.
  • Kazakhstan has the 62nd largest population in the world, with a density of less than 6 people per sq km.
  • Kazakhstan will chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2010.
  • Kazakhstan became the first former Soviet republic to repay all of its debt to the IMF in 2000, seven years before it was due.
  • It is nothing like Borat (which was filmed in Romania)

Kyrgystan:

  • Tien Shan mountain range, which the country shares with China, covers approximately 75 percent of the whole territory.
  • The ethnic group of Kyrgyz comprises of traditionally nomadic people, believed to have originally lived in southern Siberia.
  • Kyrgyzstan is home to Inylchek Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in the world.
  • The walnut-fruit forests of Kyrgyzstan are amongst the largest natural walnut forests in the world.

Uzbekistan:

  • The Muruntan gold mine in Uzbekistan is the world’s largest open pit gold mine.
  • The territory of Uzbekistan is believed to have been populated since the second millennium BC.
  • Uzbekistan is home to one of the largest deserts in the world, known as Kyzylkum, which also extends into Kazakhstan.
  • In 2002, ancient pyramids were discovered by Russian and Uzbek archaeologists, in the Kashkadarya & Samarkand regions of Uzbekistan. They are believed to be as much as 2700 years old.
  • In Uzbekistan, lipioshka (bread) is never laid upside down and is never put on the ground, even if it is in a bag.

Tajikistan:

  • Nurek Dam, located in Tajikistan, is the highest dam in the world. See image here.
  • A mountainous country, it has ninety percent of its area precipitous and rocky.
  • Tajikistan was initially a part of the Samanid Empire, but was created as an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, within Uzbekistan, in 1924.
  • More than fifty percent of Tajikistan land is over 3,000 meters (approx. 10,000 ft) above sea level.
  • Created a law to limit the amount of people one can invite to a party (like a wedding) based on the household income in an effort to keep people from bankrupting themselves.

Turkmenistan:

  • Around eighty percent of the landscape of Turkmenistan stands covered by Karakum Desert. This is one of the largest sand deserts of the world.
  • The country’s natural gas reserves rank fifth in the whole world.
  • Kugitang Reserve of Turkmenistan has a rock plateau imprinted with footprints of a dinosaur.
  • Turkmenistan has been known throughout the world, since centuries, for its Turkmen carpets.
  • Reported literacy rates in Turkmenistan are 98%.
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