CLAIM: How the Aral Sea dried up so quickly & turned into a desert is still a mystery. TRUTH: Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world, the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. By 2007, it had declined to 10% of its original size. Attempts have been made to reverse some of the damage.
Here is the KYLE SPANGLER, one of many Great Lakes vessels that made trips to the Atlantic in the early days of direct trade with saltwater ports. On November 7, 1860, the schooner RACINE collided with the SPANGLER and sent the vessel, full of corn, to the bottom of Lake Huron. The crewmen were taken safely onboard the RACINE. Today, the ship rests relatively undamaged except for the bow, with its masts and cabin intact.