The Kyzylkum Desert (Red Sand) is the 16th largest desert in the world. The Kyzylkum Desert is located in Central Asia, between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya, a region historically known as Transoxania or Sogdiana. The Kyzylkum Desert covers about 298,000 square kilometers.
The Kyzylkum desert is a plain with remnant mountains, folded with rocks of the Paleozoic era. The most of it is occupied by sand dunes, extending a height of 3 to 75 meters. The plain area of the Kyzylkum consists of Cenozoic clays and gritstones. In the north-west and north, there is river sediment contains the Amu Darya and Syr Darya channels, once guttering into the Aral Sea.
The Kyzylkum Desert desert serves as pasture for Karakul sheep, horses, Bactrian Camels and dromedaries. There are several small oasis settlements. Important natural gas deposits are exploited at Gazli in the southeast, and gold is mined at Muruntow in the centre. Cotton, rice, and wheat are grown in rivervalleys and irrigated oases.
Temperatures can be very high during the summer months, from mid-May to mid-September. Kerki, one extreme inland city located on the banks of the Amu Darya River, recorded 52 °C in July 1983.
The Kyzylkum desert is home to many species of rare animals. Located in the Amudarya reeds, the Kyzylkum reserve is a natural park, which is inhabited by rare species of animals. The Jeyran Ecocenter, locating 40 km south of Bukhara, is engaged in the restoration of endangered animals: gazelle, kulan, Przewalski's horses and others.
The Kyzylkum Desert is an interesting site for those interested in petroglyphs. One of the red deserts of the Earth will be seen in its entire splendor: the color of the local sands is conditioned by the availability of big amounts of iron oxides in their structure.
There are several low mountain ranges on its territory, which are literally covered with petroglyphs. In the Central part of the Kyzyl Kum, in the mountains was found a strange rock carvings. There you can clearly see people in suits and something very reminiscent of space ships. One of them – the Bukantau – is located in the center of the inner Kyzylkum. They are the old and wrinkled mountains, withered by the heat and wind. Their height does not exceed 800 meters above sea level. They are the biggest concentration of ancient images.