15 surprising curiosities about the Sahara desert

The Sahara is a unique desert in the world, both for its size and for the ecosystem that has been created in it. Here we tell you 15 curiosities about him ordered from least to most surprising. How far can the air of the Sahara go?

15. The largest in the world

The Sahara is not just any desert, since it has an extension of 9,065,253 square kilometers, which makes it the largest in the world. However, there are people who think it is quite smaller, as they confuse it with one of its most famous parts: Western Sahara.

In the following political map you can see the countries that have a part of the surface of this desert. They are the ones that are colored:

14. A snowy landscape

Although it is a strange and unusual phenomenon, it sometimes snows on this desert. This has happened in the dunes of Ain Sefra, city of Algeria. The last two times it has been in 1979 and 2016.

This phenomenon occurs thanks to the low temperatures that are reached at night (around 0 degrees). The result is an incredible desert landscape with snow that we can observe in this video:

13. The horned desert viper

The fauna of the Sahara is quite surprising. One of the most prominent animals is the horned desert viper. This snake is characterized by having small horns on the head.

Due to its color, it easily hides in the sand to protect itself from predators or monitor possible victims. Through his fangs he is able to inject a dangerous poison.

12. Paradise oasis

Not everything is sand in the Sahara desert. Fortunately, we can also find beautiful oases that have formed thanks to the underground aquifers in the area. Some of the most prominent are the Awbari oasis, the Bajariya oasis and the Gardaya oasis.

11. The white desert of Egypt

Although it looks like snow or ice, this part of the Sahara known as white desert of Farafra It owes its color to limestone. The wind has eroded and modeled them, which has given rise to strange shapes.

10. The legend of Merzouga

Erg Chebbi is a large dune area in Morocco. Here a popular one is usually told legend. This explains that, years ago, the inhabitants of Merzouga were having a party when a woman and her children asked for help.

When he ignored them, they died. As a consequence, a great sandstorm covered the town forever. Therefore, it is said that at noon you can hear screams among the dunes.

9. A fight flag

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, also known as Western Sahara, is an area that is only recognized as a State by some countries. Before it was the Spanish Sahara, but later it became the possession of Morocco and Mauritania. This is his flag:

8. A movie desert

The impressive landscapes of the Sahara have made them film known movies. One of them is Star Wars, which was recorded in locations like Tataouine, in Tunisia.

Another famous recording that chose this desert for some of its most famous scenes is In search of the lost ark, which tells one of the adventures of Indiana Jones.

7. The cave paintings of the desert

In the past, the inhabitants of the Sahara desert tended to leave engravings in places such as caves or shelters. A good part has been preserved until today. Among the numerous points, stand out the Gilf Kebir plateau, in Egypt and Libya. Animals were represented as well as people and abstract drawings.

6. The desert fox

Fox species smaller of the world is in the Sahara. The desert fox or fenec stands out for its large ears, which help it stay cool during the high temperatures of the day. It is a nocturnal animal that lives in underground shelters.

5. The salty lake of Tunisia

Chott el Djerid is the largest salt area in the Sahara, as it has 7,000 square kilometers. This lake only has water during the rainy season. The rest of the year, due to the hot weather, remains dry.

4. A special plant

The rose of Jericho is a very special plant thanks to its resistance. When it dries, its branches contract and a ball is made. So you can stay during years. However, when it finds moisture or water, it returns to hydrate and return to its original form. It is common to find it in much of the desert.

3. The unknown pyramids

While the pyramids of Egypt are known worldwide, those of Sudan They are not so much. These belong to the Kushites, a town that lived in the area between 260 BC. and 300 A.D. There are a total of 250 pyramids, which resemble the Egyptians, but are smaller and more inclined.

2. A different origin

Although it may seem a lie, the Sahara was once a great jungle. There are different hypotheses They explain their transformation. Some argue that millions of years ago, due to the desiccation of the Tethys Sea, it became a desert. Other theories maintain that this happened about 5,000 years ago.

1. Beyond the ocean

A layer of Sahara air, also known by the acronym SAL (Saharan Air Layer) is a large amount of dry air loaded with microscopic sand particles. Surprisingly, these air masses cover more than 7,500 km and have come to affect areas of the Caribbean Sea or Central America. In the following aerial photo you can observe this phenomenon:

Likewise, as this video shows, after several studies, NASA has been able to show in three dimensions how much dust moves to the Amazon:

Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Prepare the trip"so you can continue reading:

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