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:
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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%.