Desert Amazing facts

50 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Desert | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. The word ‘Sahara’ means ‘desert’ in Arabic, so the Sahara Desert just means ‘desert desert’.
  2. There are a number of different definitions to describe a desert but they are typically areas that receive extremely low amounts of rain.
  3. For a place to be called a desert it has to be an area that gets less than 10 inches (25 mm) of rain a year.
  4. Deserts are typically found across our planet along two fringes parallel to the equator at 25–35° latitude in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
  5. Around one third of the Earth’s surface is covered in deserts. Europe is the only continent with no large deserts.
  6. Sahara Desert is large enough to cover almost all of the United States and spans 12 countries. It is the largest hot desert in the world occupying 8% of the world area.
  7. Sahara Desert is home to 2 million people in spite of harsh conditions.
  8. As recently as 6,000 BC, grains and millet were grown across much of what is now the Sahara Desert.
  9. In fact, there’s about 80,000 square miles of oasis across the Sahara i.e. Over 2 % of the Sahara is covered by oasis.
  10. Amazingly only about 30% of the Sahara Desert is covered in sand. There are lots of sand dunes, with some of them as high as 500 feet high.
  11. The Arabian Desert in the Middle East is the second largest hot desert on Earth but is substantially smaller than the Sahara.
  12. Other large hot deserts in the world are the Gobi Desert in Asia, the Kalahari Desert in Africa, the Patagonian Desert in South America, the Great Victoria Desert in Australia, the Syrian Desert in the Middle East and the Great Basin Desert in North America.
  13. The Lut Desert in Iran is the hottest place on earth.
  14. Amazingly some deserts can get as hot as 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) during the day and drop to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius) at night!
  15. The all-time hottest temperature ever recorded in desert was 136 degrees F, in Azizia, Libya, in 1922.
  16. Sahara is currently in a dry period and scientists expect it to be green again in 15,000 years.
  17. There was a solitary tree in the Sahara Desert of Niger called the Tree of Ténéré that kept itself alive by a 110 feet deep root system. It was the only tree for roughly 250 miles in any direction. In 1973, a drunk Libyan truck driver managed to ram his truck into it and uprooting it.
  18. The scarab beetle is an essential part of life in the Sahara Desert. It’s also known as the “dung beetle” because they are able to survive almost entirely on animal feces. They roll dung into a ball and push it or dig a new burrow next to a heap of dung in which they live.
  19. An adult desert tortoise can survive more than a year without water and can survive temperatures that exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  20. Amazingly it snowed in the Sahara Desert in 1979.
  21. A 30-mile giant eye in the Sahara Desert once served as a geographical landmark for astronauts.
  22. Amazing fact is that sand from the Sahara is blown by the wind all the way to the Amazon, recharging its minerals. The desert literally fertilizes the rainforest.
  23. Amazing fact is that there’s a society of 1.2 million of Muslims in the middle of the Sahara Desert where men wear veils and women do not; where most women are literate while most men are illiterate; and where livestock is owned by the women.
  24. There is an annual ultramarathon held each year in the Sahara Desert called the Marathon des Sables (MDS) in southern Morocco each year in April. It has to be entered several years in advance, and it costs over $4,500 to participate. The race is run in six stages over seven days, and runners have to carry all of their supplies on their backs. The total distance covered over sand dunes and rocky plateaus is 156 miles. It is considered the toughest foot race on the planet.
  25. A boy named Hadara was lost by his parents in the Sahara Desert at the age of two, and was apprehended, and raised by ostriches for a period of ten years.
  26. There is a Stonehenge type megalithic stone, calendar structure in the Sahara Desert, built around 6000 years ago.
  27. After getting lost in the Sahara Desert, a man tried to kill himself by slitting his wrists, he was so dehydrated that his blood clotted the wounds. 9 days later he was rescued 186 miles (299km) away and had lost 18 Kgs, living off his urine, bats and snakes.
  28. The world record for crossing the Sahara by bicycle was set in 2011 by Reza Pakravan, 36, a market security analyst in London, who made about 1084 miles journey in 13 days, 6 hours. He started in Algeria, cycled south, then turned east through Niger and Chad to reach Sudan. He needed 6,000 calories of food and 7 liters of water each day.
  29. Rain does fall occasionally in deserts, and desert storms are often violent. A record 44 millimeters of rain once fell within 3 hours in the Sahara.
  30. Large Saharan storms may deliver up to 1 millimeter per minute. Normally dry stream channels, called arroyos or wadis, can quickly fill after heavy rains, and flash floods make these channels dangerous. More people drown in deserts than die of thirst.
  31. Scientists have recently found an ancient mega lake under the Sahara Desert.
  32. The $1 billion, 2,900-mile Trans-Saharan highway will link Africa’s most populous city, Lagos, Nigeria, to Algeria and Tunisia.
  33. The Great Sphinx of Giza is not located in a remote region of the Egyptian desert. It actually is situated in a suburb of Cairo.
  34. There is also a tree called the Tree of Life in Bahrain, living in the desert with no other vegetation in the surrounding area.
  35. About 1,000 square miles of Chinese land turns into Gobi Desert every year, fueling deadly, globe-circling dust storms. China has planted the biggest artificial forest in the world to stop the spread of the Gobi Desert.
  36. The first dinosaur eggs discovered were found in the Gobi Desert in 1923 by an expedition led by the American Museum of Natural History.
  37. A German particle physicist Gerhard Knies has calculated that in 6 hours, the world’s deserts receive more energy from the sun than humans consume in a year.
  38. That calculation has inspired the 2009 formation of the Desertec Industrial Initiative, a project that aims to construct a network of solar and wind farms stretching across Africa and the Middle East. It would connect electricity to Europe via high-voltage DC cables.
  39. The disappearance of the Aral Sea has left behind a desert filled with ship graveyard. In just 50 years, it went from world’s fourth-largest saline body of water to a desert.
  40. The largest cold desert in the world is Antarctica, because a desert doesn’t need to be hot, but only lose moisture more than it gains.
  41. Many of the ice free regions of the Arctic and Antarctic are known as polar deserts.
  42. The South American Atacama Desert gets an average rainfall of 1 millimeter (.04 inches) per year and had not had any significant rainfall in over 400 years making it the driest desert. Amazingly in July 2011, it received a whopping 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) of rain.
  43. Amazingly more than 1 million people live in the Atacama Desert today.
  44. Camels don’t store water in their humps. They store fat there. They can survive for so long in the desert because of their ovular blood cells, relatively dry urine and feces, and nostrils that recycle water vapor.
  45. In 1958, a Cessna (A type of plane) was flown continually for over two months, refueled via truck matching its speed on a desert highway.
  46. Sand dunes are actually said to “sing” audibly in 30 deserts around the world, producing haunting and baffling sounds. It was first recorded by Marco Polo when he crossed the Gobi Desert. Each song lasts up to several minutes.
  47. Alaska has a sand desert with dunes over 150 feet high.
  48. Those residing in the Atacama Desert Use Fog catching nets to provide up to 10,000 Liters/day of fresh water.
  49. The Taa language, spoken by less than 5,000 people in the Kalahari Desert is the language with the most vowels and consonants.
  50. The world’s largest film studio is located in Morocco, consisting mostly of deserts and mountains and was used for the latest Game of Thrones episode, The Mummy, Gladiator, etc. It has also become a popular tourist resort.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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