Caspian Sea

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A landlocked sea in Asia. The Caspian Sea is bordered in the present time by Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. Old names for the Caspian include the "Khazar Sea" and the "Khvalissian Sea".

The Caspian is one of the world's smallest seas, in fact according to scientists it has characteristics common to both seas and lakes. It is, however, the world's largest inland body of water. It has a surface area of 371,000 square kilometers (143000 sq. mi.).

The Caspian holds a great amount of sturgeon, which yield eggs that are processed into caviar. Overfishing threatens the sturgeon population.

Potentially huge oil fields also lie underneath the Caspian Sea.

The level of the Caspian has fallen and risen many times over the centuries. Some Russian historians claim that a medieval rising of the Caspian caused the coastal towns of Khazaria, such as Atil, to flood.