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In the 1920s, the Soviet government began searching for an isolated place where they could build a military complex to test biological weapons. The ideal location for such a complex would be a remote island surrounded by sparsely populated desert, and located well within the Soviet Union far from the Union’s borders with other nations. A number of islands were shortlisted including one in the White Sea and another one on Lake Seliger, but the one that eventually became the site for the world's largest biological-warfare testing ground was Vozrozhdeniya Island on Aral Sea.

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Photo credit: МACTAK MC/Panoramio

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