10 most captivating deserts

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    10 Most Captivating Deserts

    Here are 10 of the most Captivating and Bretahtaking Deserts! From the Sahara, the

    worlds largest to the Farafra in Egypt and even the Taklamakan, a desert covered

    with snowfall!

    Taklamakan (Central Asia): a desert covered w ith snowfall

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    Taklamakan is one of the largest sandy deserts in the world, ranking 15th in size in a

    ranking of the world's largest non-polar deserts. It covers an area of 270,000 km2(100,000 sq mi) of the Tarim Basin, 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long and 400

    kilometres (250 mi) wide. It is crossed at its northern and at its southern edges by

    two branches of the Silk Road as travelers sought to avoid the arid wasteland.

    In 2008, China's biggest desert experienced its biggest snowfall and lowest

    temperature after 11 consecutive days of snow. Snow is rare in the desert that

    covered 337,600 square kilometers, never before had the whole desert been

    covered.

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    Lenis Maranhenses (Brazil): a desert' w ith lagoons

    It seems incredible, but in a country that keeps around 30% of the fresh water and

    shelters the largest rain forest in the world, we can find a desert. Located in the

    State of Maranho, on the north shore of Brazil, the Lenis Maranhenses National

    Park is an area of about 300 square kilometers (155,000 ha) of blinding white dunes

    and deep blue lagoons, forming one of the most beautiful and unique places in the

    world. The dunes invade the continent over 50km (31 miles) from the cost, creating

    a landscape that reminds a white bed sheet, when seen from above.

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    But you may ask: -Lagoons?? You told me it was a desert Yes, what defers this

    region from a desert is the amount of rain that drops over the dunes, creating ponds

    of crystal clear water on the depression between dunes. Despite its desert-like

    appearance, Lenis Maranhenses records an annual rainfall of 1,600mm (i.e. 62.9

    inches), 300 times more than in the Sahara. During the period of drought, the

    lagoons evaporate and become completely dried. After the rainy season, the lagoons

    are home of many species of fish, turtles and clams. The mystery in this story lies in

    the fact that when the lagoons fill up, life comes back, as if they had never left the

    place. One of the hypotheses to explain the phenomenon is that the eggs of the fish

    and crabs are maintained alive in the sand, exploding when rain comes back.

    Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia ): the world's largest salt desert

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    The Salar is one of the iconic images of Bolivia, a massive salt desert in the middle of

    the Altiplano. It is an expansive, virtually flat desert that reflects the sun in such a

    way as to create a mirror effect with the sky. There are several lakes in the desert

    with strange colours from the mineral deposits in the region.

    Some 40,000 years ago, the area was part of Lake Minchin, a giant prehistoric lake.

    When the lake dried, it left behind two modern lakes, Poop Lake and Uru Uru Lake,

    and two major salt deserts, Salar de Coipasa and the larger Uyuni. Uyuni is roughly

    25 times the size of the Bonneville Salt Flats in the United States. It is estimated to

    contain 10 billion tons of salt, from which less than 25,000 tons is extracted annually.

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    Farafra (Egypt): the white desert

    A main geographic attraction of Farafra is its White Desert (known as 'Sahara el

    Beyda,' with the word 'sahara' meaning a desert). The White Desert of Egypt is

    located 45 km (30 miles) north of Farafra. The desert has a white, cream color (it is

    truly white, in clear contrast with the yellow deserts elsewhere) and has massive

    chalk rock formations that have been created as a result of occasional sandstorms in

    the area.

    Atacama (Chile): the flourished desert

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    The Atacama Desert occupies the largest amount of the Chilean territory located

    north of the 29th parallel. The area located on the coast between Arica and

    Antofagasta appears in the Guinness Book of World Records as the driest place in the

    world. Nevertheless, to the south of the Tropic of Capricorn, the desert becomes

    kinder towards living beings. The coastal mists, "camanchacas", are more abundant

    south of Antofagasta and bring the humidity necessary for the maintenance of the

    coastal scenic vegetation. Many plants survive mainly because of the "camanchaca",

    and the harsh savings of water, in normal dry years, that causes them to delay

    important functions such as growth, to favor survival and reproduction. (Link)

    Namib (Namibia): the only desert with elephants

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    South of Africa lies the Namib desert. which is less vast than the Sahara but just as

    impressive. It forms part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park with neighbouring

    Angola. The Sossusvlei sand dunes are the highest in the world, some towering at

    300m high and if you are lucky enough, you can stumble across desert elephants-the

    Namib is the only desert in the world to have elephants. Apparently the oldest desert

    in the world, myriad species of plants and animals can only be found here. The

    Namib has fascinated geologists for years but it remains very little understood to this

    day. Off the coast, strong southerly winds with fogs and strong currents cause sailorsto lose their way; the north coast has been named 'Skeleton Coast' due to the

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    amount of shipwrecks found there, some of which can be found as much as 50m

    inland, as the desert slowly takes over the ocean as it moves westwards.

    Simpson Deser t (Australia): the red sand desert

    Australia is home to four large deserts, popularized by Mad Max: Sturt's Stoney

    Desert, Tanami Desert, the Great Victoria Desert and the Simpson Desert, which is

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    also known as 'The Big Red' due to the presence of dunes of red sand. The Simpson

    Desert is an erg which contains the world's longest parallel sand dunes. These north-

    south oriented dunes are static, held in position by vegetation. They vary in height

    from 3 metres in the west to around 30 metres on the eastern side. The most

    famous dune, Nappanerica, or, more popularly, Big Red (named by Simpson Desert

    traveller Dennis Bartell), is 40 metres in height.

    The Black Deser t (Egypt): the desert wi th black stones

    Located 100km northeast of the White desert, the Black Desert is a region of

    volcano-shaped mountains with large quantities of small black stones. The stones lie

    out across the orange-brown ground, so that it is not quite as black as many people

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    may hope for. Especially after visiting the White Desert, which has formations that

    are really white, many will imagine a desert as dramatic as this. Climbing one of the

    many soft peeks, the view from the top is really nice, with similar peeks continuing

    on into the haze. The Black Desert is uninhabited. (Link)

    Antarcti ca: world's driest and wettest desert

    Antarctica is a land of extremes. It's not inhabited year round by humans because it's

    simply too freezing cold. In 1983 scientists recorded extreme cold temperatures as

    low as -129 Fahrenheit. It's also the wettest place on Earth, but simultaneously the

    driest. The reason it's the wettest is not because of rainfall; since Antarctica iscovered by 98% ice, it's technically very wet. However since it's also the

    aforementioned coldest place in the world, it gets very little precipitation less than

    2 inches a year. Which makes Antarctica a desert. A brutally cold ice desert with a

    massive trench full of even moreice. Three for the price of one!

    Sahara (North Africa): world's largest desert

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    The Sahara, with a size of 8.6 million km, is the world's largest desert, covering

    large parts of North Africa. Around 4 million people live there. Its maximum length is

    4,800 km, running from west to east, and up to 1,200 km from north to south.

    Sahara covers most of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan,

    Chad, Niger and Mali, and touches Morocco and Tunisia.

    Sahara is very dry but there is an annual rainfall in most regions, although just a few

    dozen millimetres.