Where Is the Caspian Sea?
Caspian Sea, as captured by the MODIS
on the orbiting Terra satellite.
Jeff Schmaltz, NASA.
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi) (not including Garabogazköl Aylagy) and a volume of 78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi). It is in an endorheic basin (it has no outflows) and is bounded by northern Iran, southern Russia, western Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and eastern Azerbaijan.
The ancient inhabitants of its littoral perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean, probably because of its saltiness and seeming boundlessness. It has a salinity of approximately 1.2%, about a third the salinity of most seawater. The Caspian Sea has been called Gilan on ancient maps. In Iran, it is sometimes referred to as Daryâ-ye Mazandaran, meaning "the Sea of Mazandaran" in Persian.