The cradle of human evolution
The largest desert in the world that occupies half the area of the Great African Continent, in area it equals the
Sahara Desert occupies 9 million sq km (half of the Continent of Africa); the whole area are not covered by sand dunes as general concept; it is heterogeneous in topography; can be classified in to four sections, erg is sand dunes area also called sand sea, hamada is stone plateau; characterized by bare rocks, wadi is a dry valley with thorny bushes here and there, Shatt is salt flats with salt marshes.
Not just sand dunes and rocks
Cairo; the capital of Egypt and its everlasting Pyramids, numerous structures, the mummies, Timbuktu; home of the Sankore University in Mali; the center of ancient wisdom, Abu Simbel the temple of Ramesses II near Aswan in Egypt all these flourished in this desert.
Once upon a time
One strange theory cites poor lambs as the villains of this tragic story; excessive grazing led to the loss of vegetation causing warming up of the land and eventual destruction of the area.
The whole area of
This desert has one of the harshest climates in the world; it has two distinct zones one the northern Sub Saharan
Significant names and places
The Atlas Mountain, It is a 2400 km long mountain range (it has five distinct portions Middle Atlas, High Atlas, Anti Atlas, Tell Atlas and the Sahara Atlas) that forms the northwest frontier of Sahara; passes through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia; highest peak Jbel Toubkal (height 4167 meters); inhabited by Berber Tribes in its Morocco portion and Kabyle Tribes in Algeria.
Berbers are primitive tribes of
Kabyles are an offshoot of the Berber Tribes live in mountainous region of
Terkezi Oasis in the Sahara Desert image courtesy: nasa.gov
Qattara Depression, it is a desert basin in Libya; below 130 meters below sea-level; the second lowest point in Africa; area 18,000 sq km comprising of saline marshes, playas (dried up lake floors) that occasionally flood, steep cliffs, and the Fech-fech (a quick-sand like land with finely powdered sand which act as a trap to vehicles and people). The
Sand dunes and ergs; while sand dunes in deserts are massive pile of sand; the ergs are sand dunes those are actively getting shifted to places by desert-wind. They are formed on bed of former lakes and are extremely difficult to cross.
Oasis Crater in Libya is mark of a meteor hit that took place in the
The Kabira is yet another meteorite crater northeast to Oasis crater recently discovered by NASA. It has an outer ring far bigger (31 km in radius) than that of Oasis; as per scientists the meteorite that struck here must be of 1.2 km in diameter.
Waw an Namus (old name Uau an Numas) volcano, Libya, It is often described as ‘an exotic volcano’ due its golden yellow desert sand surroundings and the stark black ring of volcanic ash deposited in the ‘caldera’ (a large crater formed due to the collapse of a former volcano) and the present cinder cone that is 120 meter high. This site is at 1200 meters above sea level. This volcano is active but recently no lave flow has been reported.
The Red Sea forms the northeastern border of the
The real wealth of