The Caspian Sea is an inland sea at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. It is considered by many to be the largest lake in the world. Whether you call it a lake or a sea, it is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth, with an area of 371,000 km² (without the Garabogazköl lagoon). The Caspian was first declared a sea by the Romans, who found it to be salty when they reached its shores in the first century AD. In terms of area size, the Caspian Sea is larger than Germany and slightly smaller than the US state of Montana.
The Caspian region is one of the oldest oil-producing areas in the world and is an increasingly important source of global energy production. The Caspian Sea contains approximately 80 percent of the world's sturgeon, a fish used to make caviar.
Also, several valuable minerals, such as sodium sulfate, are found in the Caspian. The region is also an important transit hub for various goods. Many of the sea's port cities are fascinating and historical travel destinations, boosting the region's tourism industry.
The culture of the Caspian region is incredibly rich: its wealth of different kinds of folk dance, local art, cuisine, literature and music is second to none. Its cultural significance is widely recognized today, and governments and various other organizations actively support the area's cultural heritage.