venerdì 19 marzo 2010

Encounters with animals. The giant cuttlefish.

A nice place for family vacation Vozrozhdeniya Island.

Vozrozhdeniya Island,is a former island, now a peninsula, in the Aral Sea. It became a peninsula in 2002, due to ongoing shrinkage of the Aral Sea. It is now shared by Kazakhstan andUzbekistan.

Located in the central Aral Sea, Vozrozhdeniya Island was one of the main laboratories and testing sites for theSoviet Union’s Microbiological Warfare Group. In 1948, a top-secret Soviet bioweaponslaboratory was established here, which tested a variety of agents, includinganthrax,plague,brucellosis, andtularemia.

In the 1990s, word of the island's danger was spread by Soviet defectors, includingKen Alibek, the former head of the Soviet Union's bioweapons program.It was here, according to just released documents, that anthrax sporesand bubonic plaguebacilli were made into weapons and stored. The main town on the island wasKantubek, which lies in ruins today, but once had approximately 1,500 inhabitants.

The laboratory staff members abandoned the small island in 1992.Many of the containers holding the spores were not properly stored or destroyed, and over the last decade many of these containers have developed leaks. As the water level of the Aral Sea continues to recede, the area will eventually connect further with the surrounding land.


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