Unexpected facts about Sahara

The planet's largest hot desert is not only a harsh and desolate place, but also has many interesting secrets.

Nowadays, Sahara tours are getting more and more popular.


The Sahara has a surface area of 9.4 million square kilometers, accounting for one quarter of Africa. However, this is not the largest desert in the world. In fact, the Saharais rated as the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic. Photo: Geography.


The Sahara is expanding. Since 1962, the desert has expanded to nearly 650,000 square kilometers. Parts of the Sahara are owned by eleven countries, including Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Chad, Morocco, Eritrea, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, and Sudan. Photo: Science News.


About 4,000 years ago, the Sahara was still a rich region with many plants and animals. However, the Earth changes its slant from 22.1 degrees to 24.5 degrees in the 41,000-year cycle (currently at 23.44 degrees and still decreasing), which makes this place become a dry area. Photo: Ancient Code.


Up to now, one part of the Sahara is still fertile. Underground rivers flowing from the Atlas Range such as Siwa, Kufra, Timimoun and Bahariva rising to the ground, which creates fresh oasis. Photo: Dualwarez.


In fact, the desert has up to 207,200 square kilometers of oasis (about 2% of the area). Another part of the desert becomes fertile due to floods from the Nile. Photo: Reference.


With an area which is equivalent to the United States which has a population of 300 million, the Sahara has only two million inhabitants. Photo: Healthy Travel Blog.


Among them, most are nomads, such as the Tuareg tribe or local people with distinctive blue clothes. Photo: Eupedia.


From December to January, the night temperatures in the Sahara often fall below freezing. Some dunes may be covered by snow. Photo: Independent.


The Sahara's record high temperature was recorded in Azizia, Libya, in 1922, up to 57.7 degrees Celsius. Photo: HeritageDaily.


It is commonly believed that the Sahara is immense sand dunes. In south Libya, the sand dunes can be as high as 180 m. Photo: World Insight.


However, this famous desert also has sandy beaches, gravel plains, rocky plains, valleys, salt marshes, mountains, rivers, and streams. Sahara is only 30% sand. Photo: Traveler Corner.


The Marathon des Sables race in the Sahara takes place in southern Morocco in April every year. Candidates must register several years in advance, at a cost of $ 4,500. The race lasts for 7 days, through sand dunes and rock plateaux with a total distance of 240 km. Contestants must bring their belongings during the competition. Photo: Pinterest.


Sahara has more than 20 lakes, mainly salt lakes. Lake Chad is fresh water here. Photo: Never Ever Seen Before.

By: Alan Smith

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