The Karagiye Depression (not to be confused with the karaage chicken depression, which I’m stricken with if I go a fortnight without Japanese fried chicken ) is located in the Mangistau Region of western Kazakhstan, not all that far from the Caspian Sea.
The Karagiye Depression
The Karagiye Depression is 40 kilometres in length, ten kilometres in width, and its deepest point is 132 metres below sea level. It’s so big, and so deep, it creates its own weather patterns, producing enormous cumulonimbus clouds during the summer months.
At 132 metres below sea level the Karagiye Depression is the 5th deepest depression in the world. Beating it is:
- The Dead Sea (Jordan, West Bank, Israel) at 413m below sea level;
- The Afar Depression (Djibouti) at 155m below sea level;
- The Turfan Depression (Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China) at 154m below sea level; and,
- The Qattara Depression (Egypt) at 133m below sea level.
Technically the deepest point on Earth not covered by water is actually the Bentley Subglacial Trench in Antarctica, which gets down to 2,555 metres below sea level. But the Bentley Trench is filled with ice, and if the ice were to melt it would be covered by water, so it doesn’t count.
Practical information and how to reach the Karagiye Depression:
The Mangistau region of Kazakhstan is a remote and rarely visited part of the world. There is no public transport to the Karagiye Depression. The best way to get there is to hire a vehicle in regional hub, Aktau.