Kyzyl Kum or Kizil Kum (both: kəzŭlˈ kōm) [key] [Turk., = red sand], desert, c.115,000 sq mi (297,900 sq km), in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This vast region SE of the Aral Sea between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers consists mainly of rocky areas covered by sparse vegetation and shifting sand dunes. Cotton, rice, and wheat are grown in river valleys and irrigated oases. Seminomadic tribespeople raise Karakul sheep and camels. Gold and natural gas deposits are exploited.