When we hear the word “desert”, sand, sun, very less rain and of course camels come to our minds. That’s correct up to some extend. Most of the deserts do have all these.
But, that’s not the case always!
Did You Know? Antarctica is the Largest Desert in the World
What is a Desert?
Deserts, generally are defined as areas which receive less than 250 mm (10 in) of precipitation each year. A region of land that is very dry because it receives low amounts of precipitation in the form of rain, maybe snow, mist or fog.
Deserts can be the hottest and most inhospitable places on Earth like Sahara and Gobi deserts. At the same time, they can also be cold and chilly with little to no snowfall like in the Antarctic and Arctic.
Types of Deserts
Deserts make up one-third of the surface of the Earth. There are four fundamental types of deserts. Hot and Dry Deserts, Cold Winter Deserts, Coastal Deserts and Polar Deserts.
- Hot and Dry Deserts experience very little rainfall, hot temperatures during the day and freezing temperatures during the night. They are characterized by sand, rocks, gravel, and a few sparse oases. The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world.
- Cold Winter Deserts experience dry summers and winters with brief intervals of rainfall. They are similar to the hot desert but somewhat cooler.
- Coastal Deserts have cool winters but long warm summers. During the winters temperature averages, 6°C but can drop to -4 or -5°C. During the summers temperature ranges between 13 and 24° Celsius. The annual average rainfall is between 3 and 6 inches.
- Polar Deserts Polar deserts are cold deserts. They are located at the earth’s poles. They receive annual precipitation of between 6 and 10 inches. The Antarctic is the world largest desert. The Arctic is the second largest desert extending across Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, and Finland.
What is the Largest Desert in the World?
Antarctica is the largest desert in the world. It has an area of 5,600,000 sq miles which make it about one and a half times of United States. Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent on earth. It is the coldest, windiest, highest and driest continent on Earth.
Antarctica is on average the windiest place on earth. Scientists exploring this southerly landmass have reported wind speeds that have reached up to 200 miles per hour. Some areas of Antarctica has had no rain or snow for the last 2 million years.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica is 58.2°F (14.5°C) and the coldest temperature ever recorded was minus 128.56 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 89.2 degrees Celsius). It was registered on July 21, 1983, at Vostok Station of Antarctica.
You will not find polar bears anywhere in Antarctica, they can only be found in the Arctic region. There are no reptiles in Antarctica. Even the husky dogs were banned from there in 1994. Penguins are the most common bird in Antarctica.
Read More: Top 14 Interesting Facts about Antarctica