This map tells the story of the shrinking Aral Sea. The name "Aral Sea" comes from the word "aral" meaning island. The sea's name reflects the fact that it is a vast basin that lies as an island among waterless deserts. The Aral Sea was once the world's fourth largest inland sea, but is no longer. Many factors such as increased irrigation for agriculture and the construction of a dam have contributed to the decline of the Aral Sea. Diversion of water sources to the Aral Sea has contributed to its decline over the past five decades, but recent restorative action in the region may be indicating a turn for the better. Read more here and here.