Top 10 Interesting Facts About Kazakhstan

Horses are integral to the culture of Kazakhstan. Editorial credit: MehmetO /
Horses are integral to the culture of Kazakhstan. Editorial credit: MehmetO /

Kazakhstan in Central Asia dominates the economy of the region. It accounts for 60% of Central Asia's GDP, mainly through its vast oil, natural gas, and mineral reserves. With an area of 2,724,900 square km, Kazakhstan is also the ninth biggest nation in the world. Here are some interesting facts about this nation.

10. Kazakhstan Is The World's Largest Landlocked Country -

Kazakhstan occupies an area of 2,724,900 square km in Central Asia. The country is completely landlocked meaning it has no direct access to the sea. It borders China, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is the world's largest landlocked nation.

9. Nearly All Elements Of The Mendeleev Periodic Table Found In Kazakhstan -

Kazakhstan has incredible natural wealth. 99 elements mentioned in the Mendeleev Periodic Table are found in the country. Not all have been exploited so far. Kazakhstan has the world's second-largest reserves of lead, zinc, chromium, and uranium. It also ranks in the top ten in the world for coal, iron, copper, manganese, and gold. Kazakhstan also has an abundance of petroleum and natural gas, the 11th largest proven reserve globally.

8. Press Freedom In Kazakhstan Is In A Poor State -

Every year, Reporters Without Borders publishes an annual ranking of countries based upon the assessment of the press freedom records of the respective countries. Kazakhstan features poorly on this list. In 2019, the country ranked 158 out of the 180 assessed countries. The nation with the highest degree of press freedom ranks one on this list.

7. Kazakhstan Reveres But Eats Horses -

The Kazakhs have a strange relationship with their horses. They both revere and eat horses. A herdsman in Kazakhstan rarely slaughters a saddle horse that he rode for his entire life. Usually, a retired saddle horse is returned to the wild to complete his last days. On the other hand, other horses are killed in the country for consumption as meat. The country's highly popular dish, beshbarmak, is prepared from boiled horse meat that is served on a bed of noodles.

6. Kazakhstan Is A Transcontinental Nation -

Kazakhstan is one of the few transcontinental nations of the world. Although the country's culture and geographic features are dominated by its location in Central Asia, a small part of the country extends into Europe. The Atyrau and West Kazakhstan provinces of Kazakhstan extends on either side of the Ural River. Less than a million of the estimated 15 million people of Kazakhstan live on the European side.

5. Wild Apples Are Found In Kazakhstan -

Gardens of blooming apples in the mountains of Almaty, Kazakhstan

The wild apple tree from where the modern-day cultivated apples were derived, originated in Central Asia. Kazakhstan still has forests where wild apple trees, the Malus sieversii, grow. Bears who eat the fruit of these trees are responsible for their dispersal through their droppings.

4. You Can Spot Snow Leopards In Kazakhstan -

A statue of a snow leopard on entrance to national park in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The majestic and elusive snow leopard, a threatened species, is found in Kazakhstan. The Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve in the country hosts a small population of these big cats. Around 100 to 120 snow leopards occupy an area of about 50,000 square km in the country. The official seal of Almaty bears the snow leopard symbol.

3. Excessive Sleeping Killed People Living In A Village In Kazakhstan -

Sleep hollow is a medical term used to describe a disease that causes people to sleep for days or weeks at a time. In March 2013, the disease was reported in Kalachi, a remote village in Kazakhstan, and killed 152 people. It disappeared for some time before reappearing once again in mid-2015. The disease does not cause people to sleep peacefully but enter a state of hallucination accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and disorientation. The affected people complained of always feeling sleepy and their normal lives were severely affected. Even animals were not spared. Investigations have revealed that leakage of toxic gases from nearby mining sites could be responsible for the lethal symptoms of sleep hollow.

2. Landlocked But With A Navy -

Although Kazakhstan is a landlocked nation, it still has a navy. The Kazakh Naval Forces operate on the Caspian Sea, a massive inland sea that is technically a lake as it is not connected to the ocean. The KNF is around 3,000 personnel strong and operates using around 14 inshore patrol crafts.

1. The World's Biggest And Oldest Space Launch Facility Is In Kazakhstan -

Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Editorial credit: Vladimir Mulder /

The Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan is a spaceport leased to Russia. It is located in the desert steppe landscape of Baikonur near the Aral Sea. The Soviet Union built this spaceport in the 1950s as the base for the Soviet space program operations. Both Vostok 1, the first human spaceflight, and Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, were launched from this site.


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