Top 10 Deserts in the World

1. Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert
This is the world’s largest desert and could very well be termed as the most impressive desert in the world as well. Only one single country cannot be allocated with the desert, but it includes the countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco and several others.
There is indeed here, miles and miles of sand with very little rainfall and slight plantation and creatures; however the Sahara desert is definitely an icon for the African continent and a brilliant natural phenomenon no matter how inhospitable that it might seem.

 

2. Arabian Desert

Arabian Desert
Arabian Desert, arid region, eastern Egypt, lying between the Mediterranean Sea on the north, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez on the east, the Nubian Desert (along latitude 22° N) on the south, and the Nile River on the west. The western edge of the desert is demarcated by cliffs that rise steeply from the Nile Valley. To the east the terrain, mostly a rugged plateau, slopes upward to a range of jagged volcanic mountains bordering the Red Sea. Elevations in the range, which descends abruptly to the sea, exceed 2135 m (7000 ft). Aridity makes human habitation difficult, but a few small agricultural villages subsist in little basins in the plateau and mountains. Deposits of turquoise, phosphate rock, nitrates, petroleum, salt, and building stone are here, but are of limited economic significance.
The name Arabian Desert is also applied popularly to the Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter), also called the Great Sandy Desert, of the Arabian Peninsula, one of the hottest and most sparsely inhabited sand dune deserts of the world.

3. Gobi Desert

Gobi Desert
This desert is located in Mongolia and stands for one of the most incredible sights in the world. The desert is also often called “The Flaming Cliffs”. This term originates from the fact that the desert is covered in sand dunes with the existence of a lot of orange high rocks and cliffs.
So the cliffs and rocks with their flaming orange color appear to be on fire as compared to the vast expanse of sand dunes in the rest of the landscape. The sight therefore is definitely worth a visit.

4. Kalahari Desert

Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is again one of the most fascinating destinations in the world and is located in Botswana. Many might not even call it a true desert in the way that most deserts are described. The Kalahari experiences lots of rainfall but what makes it a desert is that the rainfall is sporadic and it never settles on the surface making vegetation and the survival of the tribes of the Kalahari and animals a grave challenge.
The beauty of the golden sand and sand dunes are utterly beautiful and make it one of the most splendid deserts in the world.

5. Patagonia Desert

Patagonia Desert
This desert is located in Argentina and is also among the list of some of the largest deserts in the world though it is the largest desert in South America. The desert is actually a cold desert but a visit would betray to you the ancient mystique about the desert with lots of caves and ancient man made paintings inside them.
As expected the desert is vast with brownish red earth and the foxes that one encounters in the desert make a travel to the desert rather fascinating. Another feature that would strike one in this desert is that it is indeed quite windy here!

6. Great Victoria Desert

Great Victoria Desert
A vast, sparsely populated region covered by dunefields and gibber plains, the Great Victoria Desert receives little rain and experiences extreme temperatures. A highly desert-adapted fauna lives here and the area is known for its lizard diversity. Climate and isolation render pastoralism and agriculture inviable, so the region has suffered few direct effects of European settlement. The presence of a weapons testing range and nuclear weapons test sites has further isolated the region and means that this is one of the least populated areas of Australia.

7. Great Basin Desert

Great Basin Desert
Great Basin is a cold desert bioregion represented by a small section in the NE corner of Kern County. Pinyon/Juniper and sagebrush scrub are habitats within this bioregion. Great Basin comprises the southern Great Basin in the Basin and Range geomorphic province. Great Basin Desert is widely separated by short mountain ranges in desert plains. Isolation is the key as the region contains many isolated mountains, plateaus, alluvial fans, playas, basins and dunes.
Typically Great Basin Desert experiences a long, cold winter and a significant proportion of its precipitation falls as snow. This desert is one of the several communities comprising Merriam’s Upper Sonoran Life Zone.

8. Chihuahua Desert

Chihuahua Desert
The Chihuahuan Desert is the easternmost, southernmost, and largest North American desert. Most of it is located in the states of Chihuahua and Coahuila in Mexico, but fingers of the Chihuahuan reach up into western Arizona, southern New Mexico, and Texas, and down to the states of Zacatecas, and San Luis Potosi in Mexico. This desert is quite large – about 175,000 square miles – making it bigger than the entire state of California.
The Chihuahuan is usually called a rain shadow desert. That is because two massive mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre Occidental on the west and the Sierra Madre Oriental on the east, border the Mexican portion of the Chihuahuan. These mountains block most of the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean from reaching the land, and are the main reason that this desert developed. One important characteristic of the Chihuahuan Desert is the many small mountain ranges which run through it, including the Franklins in Texas, and the San Andres and Doña Anas in New Mexico. Between these mountains are valleys of lower elevation. In fact, the elevation changes in the Chihuahuan from about 1970 feet to about 5500 feet above sea level. There are also river valleys, formed by the Rio Grande and the Pecos rivers, creating large riparian areas within the desert. The presence of these river valleys and the changes in elevation produce a variety of habitats in the Chihuahuan that are not present in many other deserts. This means that diverse plants and animals can live within its boundaries. For example, in Big Bend in Texas where the elevation is low, there are many lizards which could not survive the cool winters of the desert mountains. And although fish are usually not thought of as desert dwellers, there are many in the Chihuahuan’s aquatic habitats.

9. Great Sandy Desert

Great Sandy Desert
The Great Sandy Desert is a 360,000 km2 (140,000 sq mi) expanse in northwestern Australia. Roughly the same size as Japan, it forms part of a larger desert area known as the Western Desert. The vast region of Western Australia is sparsely populated, without significant settlements. The Great Sandy Desert is a flat area between the rocky ranges of the Pilbara and the Kimberley. To the southeast is the Gibson Desert and to the east is the Tanami Desert. The Rudall River National Park and Lake Dora are located in the southwest while Lake Mackay is located in the southeast.

10. Kara-Kum Desert

Kara-Kum Desert
The sparsely populated Karakum Desert occupies about 80 to 90% of the total area of the Republic of Turkmenistan. Not surprisingly sandstorms and dust storms are very common in the country. The karakum possesses  large reserves of  oil, natural gas, and the third largest deposits of sulphur in the world. Compared to other deserts it has limited but adequate rainfall for ephemeral vegetation growth, a factor that allows for nomadic pastoralism. Moreover, ample irrigation water, allowing even  the growing of Cotton, is provided by the Murghab and Hari rivers flowing into the desert, as well as by the soviet constructed Karakum Canal,  the largest irrigation canal in the world which connects the Amu Darya River with the Caspian sea. Seepage from the Karakum canal has led to the creation of numerous lakes and ponds along its course, a source of natural beauty but also increasing salinization due to rising  groundwater levels.

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