Thursday 15 June 2023


I'm guessing most people have heard of Wordle that had a bit of a moment a year or so ago, and spawned lots of offshoots and variations (Monkey and I do the Dordle and the Squareword too) but then we also found the Worldle: the challenge is to guess the country by it's outline. We had such an interesting time today because it led us down a fascinating pathway. The country in question was Turkmenistan. Monkey is pretty good at recognising the 'Stans' but nearly missed it because the large body of water on the west coast is not part of the coastline as it appears as a casual glance. It is in fact the Kara Bogaz Bay:
and is separated from the Caspian sea by a spit of land, and is in fact the third saltiest body of water on earth (the Dead Sea is 5th, I had always assumed it was the saltiest). It has an area of 18,000 square kilometres (larger than Northern Ireland). So then you have to wonder what the most salty one is???
It's the Gaet'ale Pond (in Ethiopia):
It appeared in 2005 when an earthquake restarted a thermal spring, bringing water at 50 degrees into a small pond, with a salinity of 43.3% (for comparison normal sea water is 3 or 4% salt).
Then looking at the map again and seeing the desert was named Kara Kum we had a little look at that too. It covers 70% of the area of Turkmenistan and has a rainfall of 3-6 inches a year:
Here endeth today's geography lesson. Call back tomorrow for random factoids about another country.

1 comment:

  1. You found some really interesting facts. I had always assumed the Dead Sea was the saltiest. I like it when I'm led down rabbit holes.


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