Kw-logo-smaller

Extreme Climates 1: Driest Place

There is a disagreement about the driest place on earth. Driest means little or no precipitation so a desert has to be at the top of the list, such as the Atacama Desert in Chile. However, the South Pole has also been named the driest place because cold air has little or no moisture. The only water that falls in the South Pole is in the form of snow. We can't leave out deserts so if we eliminate the South Pole, that leaves the Atacama Desert as the driest place on earth.

Ironically, the driest place in the world is next to the biggest body of water - the Pacific Ocean. Some areas of the Atacama Desert haven't had rainfall for 400 years. Normally, it rains every 100 years. Atacama is a desert but you'll still need to bring warm clothes when you visit. Oddly enough, the Atacama is a cold place with temperatures somewhere between 0 and 25 degrees Celsius.

You might think deserts never get any rain but think again. Once in a while a warming effect over the Pacific Ocean affects weather all over the world so even the driest places can be drenched by rainstorms. Atacama always has salt lakes, snow on the mountaintops and some underground water, regardless of how long it's been since the last rainfall.

While you probably couldn't convince your parents to move to the Atacama Desert, there are animals, plants and even people who live in the bone dry region. Some plants have adapted to the environment by developing taproots that run extremely deep into the ground and collect water below. There is even a town called Calama which comes complete with motels, restaurants and shops. So far, the town hasn't seen rain yet. Otherwise, the desert is an empty, lonely place. There are a few dead bodies though. Because the area is so dry, buried Indians have been dried perfectly preserved, turning them into mummies. Egypt isn't the only place to have dried up bodies.

Related Stories:
25 Comments

latest videos

F1121468356437

What's The World's Largest Desert?

  • Sahara Desert.
  • Mojave.
  • Gobi.
  • Kalahari.

related stories

Micro_tundra-biome-micro
The Tundra is the coldest of the biomes. If the grass isn't frozen, then the dirt is. It's freezi...
Micro_biome-desert-micro
Did you know there are deserts on every continent, including Antarctica? Check out more facts tha...
Think your bedroom is the hottest place to be? Check out the Danakil Depression or Death Valley a...
If the lost city of Atlantis was found it would be considered the wettest place on earth. Right n...

Random in the forums

hugebear
hugebear posted in New Users:
Your welcome :) I remember when I joined first too and I was 10 :)
reply 11 minutes
hugebear
hugebear posted in Say Anything:
I do, actually. I definitely remember that guitar picture. Welcome back.  [whispers] hes Nimsajays older brother and he loves the music and maths :) You knows him for shizzol shozzol :)
reply 12 minutes
iluvme4ever
iluvme4ever posted in New Users:
Thanks so much your comments mean alot :D
reply 14 minutes
Jolly-Rancher206
"-Karpov-" wrote: "Jolly-Rancher206" wrote: so I'll just resort to that in my head because it's hard to keep everything straight. ha haha hohohoho no pun intended, I promise 8)
reply 25 minutes
Jolly-Rancher206
I do, actually. I definitely remember that guitar picture. Welcome back. 
reply 28 minutes

play online games