An estuary near Odessa turns into a salt desert, and this is extremely beautiful. The saltiest estuary in Europe – Kuyalnyk estuary has started to dry out over the extreme heat. Crystals of salt have come up to the surface and they are covering hundreds of square meters of the reservoir. In this place, everything that is alive dies. However, it looks extremely beautiful.
This summer the seasonal drying of the Kuyalnyk estuary was of a larger scale than the last year, due to the extreme and long-lasting heat.
The northern part of the estuary has completely dried up and turned into a salt desert. This is an area equal to the residential district of the Ukrainian megapolis. During the winter, scientists will let in the estuary sea water through a special pipe. Meanwhile, in order to prevent an algae bloom, the pipe was blocked. Unless a human intervenes, the Kuyalnyk will go on turning into a salt desert.
Previously, this natural effect was used by Chumaks (historic occupation of Ukrainian population in 17-19 centuries, primarily known for the trade of salt), they provided almost the whole Ukraine with Odesa salt. In the winter, the estuary naturally restores its water level. However now, due to the climate change, transformation is irreversible, and only thanks to the pipe, Kuyalnyk still lives.
Text by Konstyantyn Rul