A combination of sun and sand sound like a cool idea to most of us. However, not all sun and sand combos are a perfect getaway; some may be alarmingly uncomfortable for most of humans and animals. There are some places that have ample of these nature's blessings and are mostly left deserted. If you haven't yet understood the idea I am trying to put forth, then let me introduce you to the world of deserts.
Deserts, which account for almost one-third of our planet, basically give us an impression of an array of sand dunes and camels with high temperatures and dry climate. To your surprise, there are some deserts that are so extreme in some or the other sense that they will simply blow your mind and make you wonder if you've ever taken geography lessons seriously. Tag along and uncover 10 of the most extreme deserts in the world.
One of the driest places on this planet, Atacama is situated in northern Chile between the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range and receives almost no rain, average rainfall being just 1 millimeter. So dry is this desert that the mountains in the area exceeding 6,500 meters have no glaciers at all.
The world's oldest desert, Namib is situated along the coast of Namibia, Africa. The desert is spread in an area of 80,900 km and is almost barren with no habitation to account for. What's interesting about this desert is that it has one of the tallest sand dunes that exceed 980 feet.
Namib receives less than 10 mm of rainfall annually.
Between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan was the world's fourth-largest saline water body, Aral Sea. This sea covered an area up to 68,000 square km but started vanishing since the 1960s because of the Soviet Union irrigation projects. By 2007, the sea was reduced to 10% of its original size. This gave birth to a new desert, which is now called Aralkum desert and is the youngest desert in the world.
Now this is an interesting desert that is a left over of Lake Minchin, an inland sea that dried up and left behind a vast surface roofed with salt. Covering an area of 10,582 square km, the Uyuni desert is the world's largest salt desert and holds 10 billion tons of salt. Besides salt, this desert - which is also known as Salar de Uyuni - contains half of world's lithium reserves.
World's largest desert, the Sahara desert is almost as large as the American territory and covers most of Northern Africa. It occupies vast areas of eleven African countries including Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia. Spread across 9,000,000 sq km, Sahara is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the west and by the Red Sea in the east.
The Libyan desert, which is a part of Sahara, reported the world's highest temperature of 57.8-degree celsius in 1922.
Occupying a minimal area of just 1 square mile, the Carcross desert located outside Yukon, Canada, is the smallest desert on earth. A desert usually has low precipitation and if this point is to taken into account, then Carcross cannot be even considered a desert as it is too humid in the region. However, this mini-desert is quite drier as compared to its surrounding region and receives less than 50 cm of rainfall annually.
One of the sunniest places in the world, the Arabian Desert receives around 3,400 hours of sunshine annually. Nurturing some isolated sand seas, this desert has one of the largest continuous bodies of sand in its heart, Rub'al-Khali. Ranked as the second largest subtropical desert in the world, the Arabian desert almost covers the entire Arabian peninsula. Enjoying a stretch of more than 2 million km, this expansive swath of wilderness is located in Western Asia. It runs from Yemen to the Persian Gulf and Oman, to Jordan and Iraq.
The Taklamakan desert lies between the Tien Shan and Kunlun mountain ranges and is the largest desert in China, which is popular for the Turpan Depression. This Depression is not an ordinary one and is a 508-foot deep mountain basin giving it the second lowest spot on Earth. This is a waterless expanse with average high temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit in summer.
Situated in Iran, the Loot Desert (also known as Dasht-e Loot) is a dry salt lake that recorded a temperature as high as 159 degrees Fahrenheit in 2005. It is the world's 25th largest desert and thanks to its extremely high temperatures, is the hottest place on Earth. It stretches about 200 miles from northwest to southeast and is the lowest place in Iran. Such high is the temperature here that even bacteria find it wise to stay away from the region.
The desert gets its interesting name from the fact that it is extremely difficult to live here due to its high temperatures. This desert valley is located in Eastern California and is infamously known for being the driest, hottest, and lowest area in North America. This 3.3 million acre desert once recorded a temperature as high as 134 degrees Fahrenheit in July 1913.