The Usoi Dam is an impressive natural engineering feat located on Tajikistan's Murghab River. It is the tallest dam in the world, measuring 1,860 feet in height and 4,490 feet in length. That's 2.5 times taller than Hoover Dam!
It was created as a result of a rock slide triggered by an earthquake that blocked the Bartang River in Tajikistan's Pamir Mountains on February 18, 1911. It has a volumetric capacity of 0.48 cubic miles or 2 cubic kilometers, creating Sarez Lake with an area of 19,700 acres.
Since natural dams like the Usoi Dam are vulnerable to erosion and collapse, its future is uncertain, posing a significant concern for locals and authorities. The risk of an earthquake or other catastrophic events puts the dam at risk of collapse.
Due to the Usoi Dam's significant impact on the landscape, the area around it has a rich biodiversity, home to a variety of birds and mammals. Migratory birds, such as the black stork, white-tailed eagle, and red-footed falcon, can be observed during migration. To learn more about this dam and its eco-system, read the full article at the link below.
At HoonArts, animals are close to our hearts, especially those that originate in Central Asia, such as the bactrian camel (wooden, on reorder), the snow leopard (wooden, on reorder), and the Marco Polo sheep (wooden on reorder), as well as the felted snow leopard, Marco Polo sheep, and donkey featured below.
Even people from Tajikistan rarely spot that high-ranging snow leopard. I'll never forget the joy and astonishment of a guest from Tajikistan when they saw a snow leopard for the first time at the Albuquerque zoo several years ago.
An animal friend from HoonArts may be just what you need to remind you of the importance of our natural eco-systems, especially as Earth Day approaches on April 22.
The rugged landscape surrounding the Usoi Dam is also home to the Pamir ibex, wild goats with a thick, shaggy coat that provides insulation against the cold mountain climate.
The Marco Polo sheep is another species found in the Usoi Dam area. These large sheep have a distinctive white coat with a brownish-gray saddle patch on their backs, impressive spiraled horns, and can weigh up to 300 pounds.
The high mountain ranges around the Usoi Dam are also one of the few places in the world that are home to the internationally protected Snow Leopard. These big cats have a thick and silky fur coat that has a reflective quality that helps it absorb heat, and provide camouflage from predators.