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Deserts Around the World

May 20, 2013

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Dryness, heat, sand as far as the eye can see – there’s no mistaking a desert when you’re in one, and there are loads of deserts all over the world. A desert is a landscape that typically has very little precipitation (rain), high heat, and a distinct lack of plant life – desert plants like cactus adapt to thrive with less water. Check out Deserts Around the World!

Sahara

The Sahara, located in North Africa, has to be one of the most famous deserts in the world! It is the world’s hottest desert and the third largest desert on the planet. Some of the sand dunes in the Sahara can reach as high as 590 feet tall! The Sahara is 360, 000, 000 square miles and the name comes from the Arabic word for desert.

The Sahara Desert is the hottest in the worldThe Sahara Desert is the hottest in the worldCourtesy of Science Daily

Gobi

If you travel to Asia, you may come across the Gobi Desert, which is located in northern and northwestern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi is well-known historically because it was part of the Mongol Empire and housed some famous cities that were stops on the Silk Road. It is home to animals like camels, and is considered a rain shadow desert – meaning the Himalayan mountains block the clouds that would normally carry rain to the region.

The Gobi DesertThe Gobi Desert

Kalahari

The Kalahari Desert is most definitely a famous desert, but some claim that it doesn’t qualify as a desert at all! It has more plant life covering the ground than many more arid deserts, and also supports more animal life. The Kalahari covers parts of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. In Afrikaans (a language spoken in South Africa) it also called the “Dorsland,” meaning “thirsty land.”

The Kalahari isn't technically a desertThe Kalahari isn't technically a desertCourtesy of kalahari.com

Mojave

The Mojave Desert straddles several states: California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. It is named after the Mohave Tribe. The most famous area in the Mojave Desert is Death Valley, at 282 feet below sea level it is the lowest elevation in North America. There’s another famous place in the Mojave that you may be familiar with – Las Vegas!

The Mojave DesertThe Mojave Desert

The Great Victoria Desert

The Great Victoria Desert is the largest desert in Australia, it covers 134,650 square miles. It is still inhabited by indigenous Australian communities. It was named after Queen Victoria by the first European to cross the desert in 1875, British Explorer Ernest Giles.

The Great Victoria Desert is the largest in AustraliaThe Great Victoria Desert is the largest in AustraliaCourtesy of amodmag.com

Have Your Say

Have you ever been to a desert? Let us know in the comments section.

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