Deserts cover approximately one-third of our earth’s surface. Read about some of the Largest Deserts in the World that you must visit in your life once.
We think of desserts as a vast area for just sand that has no life on it. But some desserts don’t just contain sand and are home to many unique plants and animals. They cover approximately one-third of our earth’s surface. Since it covers so much of our land, we wonder which one of them is the largest. Here we have put together a list of the top five largest deserts in the world.
- Antarctica Desert (Surface Area: 5,500,000 sq mi)
The Antarctic Desert, a Polar Desert, which covers up the great bulk of Antarctica, is the largest in the world. This one desert is larger than the combined size of the Gobi Desert, the Arabian Desert, and the Sahara Desert. Up till the 1970s, when some microorganisms were discovered, it was believed that there was no plant life there.
This southern desert also has extraordinarily high wind speeds that can generate hypersaline lakes in combination with its arid environment. The Lake Vanda and the Don Juan Pond are some examples of these hypersaline bodies of water and contain salt ten times greater than seawater. Antarctica is also a site of numerous dating expeditions over the years, just like the Arctic. Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent. It has the highest average distance of all the continents in the world.
- Arctic Desert (Surface Area: 5,400,000 sq mi)
It is believed that in Polar deserts, there is not much chance for plants or animals to grow, but that is not the case with the Arctic Desert. Arctic Polar Desert is home to a variety of animals such as Arctic Fox, Arctic Wolf, Polar Bear, Caribou, Snowy Owl, and Moose. Some of these animals travel between the Arctic Tundra, with more vegetation, and the Arctic Desert, while others stay where they are.
Just as in the late 19th century, many prominent explorers believed in the region which embraces today’s Arctic Polar Desert misguidedly by an open polar sea. This notion is based on the assumption that these northern ice barriers can be pushed to an open sea surrounding the North Pole. Although this notion was disputed since then, it may be true in the future as a result of Arctic decline at the cost of many lost Arctic trips. An ice-free route between Europe and the Pacific Ocean via the Arctic is probably going to happen at some point.
The Arctic Desert seems to have many features that are similar to the Antarctica Desert. But it has a higher perception rate of 50cm per year.
- Sahara Desert (Surface Area: 3,600,000 sq mi)
This desert is the third largest and perhaps the hottest in the world. This Desert is expanded over twelve countries in Northern Africa. This desert is classified as a tropical desert, just like the Arabian Desert, and receives little precipitation throughout any given year.
Every 20,000 years, the Sahara desert swings between the grassland of savanna and a desert. It was believed to have been fertile 5,000 years before when the average rainfall in the region was ten times that of today. This cycle is caused to the earth’s sway that is affecting the position of the North African Monsoon and is expected to cause the Sahara to become green again in about 15,000 years.
- Arabian Desert (Surface Area: 714,600 sq mi)
The largest desert in Asia and the fourth largest desert in the world encompasses of Arabian Peninsula and is found within nine other countries. This desert is considered subtropical, the temperature is consistently hot, and the rain is sparse.
While the Arab Desert is largely inhospitable to mammals, there are a tiny number of animals that inhabit the region. The Arabic Camel, Arabian Wolf, Sand Gazelle, Nubian Ibex, Striped Hyaena, Caracal, red Fox, and others are among them. However, the desert is great for reptiles such as lizards, snakes, and geckos.
- Gobi Desert (Surface Area: 500,000 sq mi)
The Gobi Desert is an enormous wilderness region in East Asia, covering large areas of the country. This is Asia’s second-biggest desert and the world’s third-largest cold desert. Situated along the border of China and Mongolia, it is historically important for being the location of numerous important cities.
The rain is blocked by the nearby mountain range, which is why this is called a rain shadow desert. This desert is home to many species, including Bactrian Camel (Mongolian), Gobi Ibex, or Snow Leopard, etc. There is a species of plant, the Saxaul tree, which can store moisture within its bark and is present throughout all of the Gobi Desert’s various ecology.
Just like mountains and rain forests are an attraction to millions, many love to explore these gigantic sandy natural scenes. Even in extremely harsh conditions of the desert, life finds a way to flourish and survive which is a topic of study for many. Not only are scientists interested in these harsh lands, but millions of tourists also love the adventure and beauty of these massive deserts.
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