Desolate Landscapes of the Desert

Deserts are defined as large areas of land that receive very little precipation which in return limits the amount of life deserts support. Deserts, which cover a third of the land on Earth, receive an annual precipitation of less than 25 cm per year. Not all of the desert’s landscape is barren though. While much of the wildlife and plants are sparse, the plant life is very diverse. Plants are able to survive in this climate by maintaining two special features. These features include the ability to collect and store water and the ability to reduce water loss.

Most envision deserts to be fiercely hot with a relentless sun, but this is not always true. Many deserts are hot during the day and cold at night while others are constantly cold like the Gobi Desert in Asia. The following list some unique facts that you may find interesting.

  • The world’s largest desert is the Sahara Desert (3 million square miles).
  • The highest temperature ever recorded, 136.4 degrees F, was recorded in Libya in the Sahara Desert.
  • The world’s largest cold desert is the Antarctica desert.
  • In the United States, there are four main deserts; Mojave, Great Basin, Chihuahuan, and the Sonoran Deserts.
  • The highest sand dune ever measured was an incredible height of 1,410 feet high.
  • The tallest recorded cactus was found to be 57 feet, 11 inches high in Arizona.